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Fall Lecture Series kicks off on August 28

Published: 
2 years 46 weeks ago
Our annual Fall Lecture Series begins on August 28 and will run every other Wednesday until November 6, 2013. The first lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall and will be followed by a garden party in the botanical gardens of Cornell Plantations.  All remaining lectures will take place in Statler Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
 
The lecture series will feature talks about Pagan trees, trendy new plants, weedless gardening, conserving species, nature wars, and plant medicines by Cornell English professor Thomas D. Hill; Klyn Nurseries President Bill Hendricks; President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden Peter Raven; renowned gardener and author Lee Reich; acclaimed journalist for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and author of Nature Wars: the Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds, Jim Sterba, and senior research associate at Cornell University Manuel Aregullin.  The Fall Lecture Series is free and open to the public.
 
Cornell University English Professor, Thomas Hill kicks off the series with a lecture entitled Pagan and Christian Trees: From Ambrose to “Juniper Tree.”  Professor Hills’ lecture will focus on the importance of trees in Christian thought and will be a literary history of some spiritual, cosmological and real trees in the literature of medieval and early modern Europe.
 
“Every year we work to try and bring interesting and dynamic speakers to share with our community,” stated Sonja Skelly, director of education at Cornell Plantations.  “This years line-up is no exception! We have some of the world’s leading authorities coming to Ithaca.  We hope the Cornell and Ithaca communities will join us for these exciting lectures.”

Click here for the 2013 Fall Lecture Series Line-up.

Simple tip for growing herbs: well-drained soil

Published: 
2 years 46 weeks ago

Whether you are growing herbs in pots or in your garden bed, many of the plants we like to grow are native to the Mediterranean Region and prefer soil that is well drained. Our interpretation coordinator, Sarah Fiorello, designed a new interactive display to demonstrate the benefit of soil amendments. View this two-minute video of Sarah uses the display to show how you can easily amend your soil for better drainage.

video platform video management video solutionsvideo player

A new way to tour the F. R. Newman Arboretum

Published: 
2 years 47 weeks ago
Cornell Plantations has recently completed its yearlong process of enhancements to our visitor services in the F. R. Newman Arboretum with the installation of a self-guided audio-visual tour. In addition to this self-guided tour, Cornell Plantations has installed new interpretive and way-finding signs throughout to help visitors better orient themselves and to learn more about these unique collections. These enhancements were made possible by a $20K grant from the Stanley Smith Horticulture Trust received in January 2012.

These enhancements help Plantations to better tell our story to the tens of thousands of visitors who enter our gates every year. From learning about the striped maple (Acer pennsylvanicum) a small tree with distinct vertical white stripes on its bark, which is also called moosewood, the namesake of a nearby famous restaurant; to learning that the much loved Sculpture Garden was not intended to survive past the year it was constructed in 1962, visitors will now have a much fuller and richer understanding of the amazing collections that can be found in the rolling hills of the F. R. Newman Arboretum. 

Since the completion of the Arboretum in 1981, Plantations has had limited visitor information in the arboretum to explain to visitors the importance of the plant collections found there. This grant allowed for expanded services that include new signs and mobile phone audio-visual tours to communicate the significance of the key plant collections within the 150-acre arboretum, and reveal how researchers from Cornell and around the world use these collections for scientific study.

“The aim of all interpretation in the arboretum is to emphasize the significance of plant diversity, and how plants strongly affect human well-being,” stated Sarah Fiorello, interpretation coordinator at Cornell Plantations.  “Before these interpretive upgrades in the arboretum, many visitors viewed the space as a beautifully manicured park, not as an arboretum -- with significant plant collections that are used for educational and research purposes.  It’s our hope that these visitor enhancements will help bring a fuller awareness to our visitors.”

The collections located in the F.R. Newman Arboretum include nut trees, crabapples, oaks, maples, shrubs, and urban trees.  There are also specialty gardens found in the arboretum that include the Zucker Shrub Collection and the Treman Woodland Walk.

To listen to the audio tour, visit our F.R. Newman Arboretum page and browse the collection list.  Once a collection is selected, click on the audio icon to listen to the short audio clip.

About Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust:
The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust was created in 1970 by May Smith, in honor of her late husband. The Trust supports education and research in ornamental horticulture, primarily in North and South America. Grants up to $20,000 are typically made to botanical gardens, arboreta, and universities.

Cornell Plantations is...

Published: 
2 years 47 weeks ago

Cornell Plantations is many things to many people. What does Cornell
Plantations mean to Cornell faculty, staff and students and Ithaca
community members? Click here to view a 3-1/2 minute video to find out.

Get an update on our efforts to control invasive plants and pests

Published: 
2 years 47 weeks ago

In the July 22 Cornell Chronicle article, “Plantations seeks to control invasive plants and pests,”  natural areas director Todd Bittner paints of picture of what it takes to curb the spread of the invasive insect hemlock woolly adelgid, and countless invasive plants that threaten the health of over 3,400 acres of Plantations natural areas.

Read more here.

Plantations interim director's pineapple lily research could boost the New York nursery industry

Published: 
2 years 47 weeks ago
Chris Wien, Cornell Plantations interim director, is a professor of horticulture who experiments with cut flowers to determine which varieties hold the most promise for the state’s $6.3 billion nursery industry. He believes he’s found a winner in the pineapple lily (Eucomis). Read more about his research in the July 25 Cornell Chronicle article, "Pineapple lily could help N. Y. nursery industry bloom."

Chris Wien will serve as interim director of Cornell Plantations while the university searches for a replacement for Don Rakow, who announced his resignation on May 22. Read more here.

View gardener Josh Whitney's appearance on the Syracuse morning show "Bridge Street."

Published: 
2 years 50 weeks ago
Staff gardener Josh Whitney appeared on WSYR's weekly morning show "Bridge Street." He provided "The Plant 411" and offered tips on summer plant care. Click here to watch this four minute interview.

"Botanical Mandalas" on display in the Nevin Welcome Center

Published: 
2 years 51 weeks ago
Daniel McPheeters' "Botanical Mandalas" are on display during July and August. For the past few years Daniel has taken photographs of flowers and foliage and used the computer to turn them into  “Botanical Mandalas” using a technique called “digital collage” to combine images.

Learn more about Daniel's images at www.sculptedimage.com.

Plantations Road Closed at Judd Falls Road until August 15

Published: 
2 years 51 weeks ago

Plantations Road at Judd Falls Road will be closed from July 8th - August 15th.  Cornell Plantations' botanical garden and Nevin Welcome Center REMAIN OPEN and can be accessed from Plantations Road at Forest Home Drive.  For information or questions, please call 607-255-2400.

Click on image to enlarge.

Flood watch

Published: 
3 years 10 hours ago

Flash flood watch: With the rain we've received and the potential for more showers, thunderstorms and torrential rainfall, all members of the community are reminded that gorges and trails may be dangerous during storms. Remember to stay on trails or within designated areas, swimming is prohibited, and do not walk on closed trails or other restricted areas marked by fences, gates and railings. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. Please check the Special Conditions page for further updates.

Plantations Welcomes Chris Wien as Interim Director

Published: 
3 years 4 days ago
Horticulture professor Chris Wien will serve as interim director of Cornell Plantations while the university searches for a replacement for Don Rakow, who announced his resignation on May 22. Wien, who started July 1, previously served as acting director of the Plantations from July 2006 to January 2007. Wien received his master’s degree from Cornell in 1967 and his Ph.D in 1971, joined the Department of Vegetable Crops as a postdoctoral fellow in 1971, and returned as assistant professor in 1979, after working abroad as a research scientist studying grain legume physiology in Nigeria. He served as chair of the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science, then the Department of Horticulture, from 1996-2002. His research focus has been the production of cut flowers and herbaceous perennials. He also leads outreach projects encouraging the use of high tunnels among both growers and in school gardens. And he has continued international work in Africa, working with smallholder horticulturists in Zimbabwe, and leading student trips through the Cornell International Institute of Food, Agriculture and Development’s SMART program.

Rakow, who joined Cornell Plantations more than 20 years ago, will return full time to the Department of Horticulture. Reflecting on his tenure, Rakow said: “Our growth, even through budget limitations and challenging economic climates, has certainly been among my greatest satisfactions. For so much of this, I credit Plantations’ amazing staff and our incredibly generous donors and advisors.”

“Don’s leadership has been a key part of the transformation of Cornell Plantations in the last two decades. I am grateful for his expertise, enthusiasm and partnership,” said Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


The Plantations has established a new fund in his honor.

Get an update on the Cascadilla Gorge trail repairs

Published: 
3 years 1 week ago

Most of the Cascadilla Gorge trail between downtown Ithaca and Collegetown has been closed since 2009 for extensive repairs, but reopening is expected this fall. For a complete update on this project, read the June 20 Ithaca Journal article, "Cascadilla trail's ends to be reunited," or listen to this June 21 radio interivew with Cornell Plantations Natural Areas director Todd Bittner on 1160AM ESPN ithaca.

Gorge work, stewards increase safety of natural areas

Published: 
3 years 2 weeks ago

Work on trail improvements in Cascadilla Gorge is near completion. Get an update on this and the summer gorge steward program in the June 13 Cornell Chronicle article, "Gorge work, stewards increase safety of natural areas."

Celebrate Don Rakow’s 20 Years of Leadership

Published: 
3 years 4 weeks ago

At the suggestion of many of our members and friends, we are establishing a new fund in Don Rakow’s honor at Cornell Plantations. Charitable gifts,memberships, and endowment income provide 80% of Plantations' operating budget. Your gift will help Plantations continue to create beautiful gardens, preserve irreplaceable natural areas, and offer unique programs about the importance of plants in our lives.

 

 

To make a gift in honor of Don, please click here or send a check to Cornell Plantations, Attn: Beth Anderson, 1 Plantations Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850. For more information, contact Beth Anderson or call 607-254-4727.

Click here to read more about Don's accomplishments.

Cornell Plantations Announces Leadership Transition

Published: 
3 years 5 weeks ago
Cornell Plantations will launch a national search for a new director, following the resignation of Donald Rakow, who will be returning full-time to the Department of Horticulture.

The announcement was made on May 22 by Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

Horticulture professor Chris Wien was named as interim director on June 6.

“Cornell Plantations is one of the most highly regarded public gardens in the nation, with a mission to nurture and grow Cornell’s world-class natural spaces, enhancing the aesthetic, educational and recreational experience enjoyed by campus residents and visitors,” said Boor. “This transition is an opportunity to lead a dynamic portfolio of spaces and programs that serve a diverse audience.”

“Don’s leadership has been a key part of the transformation of Cornell Plantations in the last two decades. I am grateful for his expertise, enthusiasm and partnership,” Boor added. Rakow has been a member of the Cornell faculty since 1987 and joined Cornell Plantations more than 20 years ago. He was the associate director from 1993 through 1995, and was named executive director in 1996. He created and directs the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership, which is one of only two such programs in the nation.

Reflecting on his tenure, Rakow said: “Our growth, even through budget limitations and challenging economic climates, has certainly been among my greatest satisfactions. For so much of this, I credit Plantations’ amazing staff and our incredibly generous donors and advisors.”

Wien will take up the helm as interim Plantations director on July 1. He has previously served as acting director of the Plantations from July 2006 to Jan, 2007. Wien, who received his master’s degree from Cornell in 1967 and his Ph.D in 1971, joined the Department of Vegetable crops as a postdoctoral fellow in 1971, and returned as assistant professor in 1979, after working abroad as a research scientist studying grain legume physiology in Nigeria. He served as chair of the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science, then the Department of Horticulture, from 1996-2002. His research focus has been the production of cut flowers and herbaceous perennials. He also leads outreach projects encouraging the use of high tunnels among both growers and in school gardens. And he has continued international work in Africa, working with smallholder horticulturists in Zimbabwe, and leading student trips through the Cornell International Institute of Food, Agriculture and Development’s SMART program.

Building on the success of the opening of the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center, Cornell Plantations is now moving forward in the next phase of an ambitious plan to reimagine the Botanical Garden. In the most significant horticultural development since the F. R. Newman Arboretum was created in 1981, the broad expanse of lawn in front of the Nevin Center will be transformed into a beautiful series of new Peony and Perennial Gardens, while the plateau on Comstock Knoll will become a dramatic East Asian Garden. A major initiative to raise almost $7 million for these projects is underway. Goals include $2.7 million for construction and plant material, and $4 million to endow the new horticulturist positions that will be required to maintain the gardens.

Click here to read more about Don Rakow's accomplishments over the past 20 years at Cornell Plantations.

Click here for the CALS news webpage.

Cornell Reunion Weekend 2013 at Cornell Plantations

Published: 
3 years 6 weeks ago
Cornell Plantations -- the arboretum, botanical garden and natural areas of Cornell University -- welcomes all alumni and their families to Reunion Weekend, June 6-9, 2013.

During Reunion our rhododendrons, irises, and magnolias should be blooming, and you may still find many spring wildflowers in the Mundy Wildflower Garden and natural areas. Take one of our shuttle vans from Barton Hall, West Campus or North Campus, to the Nevin Welcome Center, where you can take a mini-tour, pick up a visitor map and explore on your own, browse the exhibits and gift shop, or just relax and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the gardens and grounds. Our staff is available inside the Welcome Center to answer your questions and help you find your way around.

Welcome back -- to Cornell Plantations!

A variety of tours and programs are planned for Reunion Weekend. Activities are free and are open to all Reunion attendees, the general public and members of the Ithaca community. See below for more information:

Nevin Welcome Center and Gift Shop open daily from 9:30 to 5:00 p.m. during Reunion Weekend.

Shuttle Service to Cornell Plantations
Shuttles to the Nevin Welcome Center at the botanical garden loop continuously between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with stops at Barton Hall (east side, on Garden Ave), West Campus (by the War Memorial flagpole on West Avenue), and North Campus (Helen Newman Hall, on Cradit Farm Drive). Shuttles will also loop to the F.R. Newman Arboretum on an as-needed basis. (Note: there are no shuttles on Sunday, June 9.)

Click HERE to download the Reunion schedule.

Beebe Lake Natural History Tour
Thursday, June 6; 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  TOUR IS CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN.

Botanical Garden Highlights Tour
Friday, June 7, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Meet in front of the Nevin Welcome Center. Learn more

Mundy Wildflower Garden Tour
Friday, June 7; 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Meet at the Caldwell Road entrance to the Wildflower Garden. Learn more

Botanical Garden Mini-Tours
Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8; 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. Tours launch approximately every 20 minutes. Meet in front of the Nevin Welcome Center. Learn more

Upper Cascadilla Gorge Hikes
Friday, June 7, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.; AND Saturday, June 8, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Meet in front of the Schwartz Performing Arts Center, Collegetown. Tour ends at Rhodes Hall, Engineering Quad. Learn more

Spring Plant Sale!
Saturday, June 8; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Plant Production Facility, 397 Forest Home Drive (across from the Flat Rock area of Fall Creek). Learn more

The Hangovers: Allan Hosie Treman '21 Memorial Concert
Saturday, June 8; 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Jackson Grove, F.R. Newman Arboretum.
NOTE: This is an outdoor event, so please bring sunscreen, sun hat, and umbrella (the concert will be held under a tent). Accessibility for disabled persons is limited. Refreshments provided. Shuttle vans will loop to the Arboretum before and after the concert. Learn more


For more information, please call (607) 255-2400.

First 1% for the Planet Gift to Plantations

Published: 
3 years 7 weeks ago
We are proud to announce that Cornell Plantations has received the first gift through our partnership in 1% for the Planet, from Harney & Sons Fine Teas Company.

1% for the Planet is an alliance of over 1,300 companies in 43 countries that have made a commitment to give one percent of their revenues to environmental causes.  Last year Cornell Plantations was approved as a non-profit partner in the alliance, making us eligible to receive donations from 1% member companies.

Harney and Sons has been a corporate member of 1% since 2006, when owners Michael and Paul Harney decided that joining the alliance would provide the company with the opportunity to drive positive environmental change in their geographical region. (Their production facility in Upstate New York is minutes from the Appalachian Trail and surrounded by mountains in the Berkshire Range.)

 

To date, the company has donated over half a million dollars to organizations that are 1% non-profit partners.

Harney and Sons has close ties to Cornell. Founder John Harney ’56 and son Michael ’77 are both graduates of the Hotel School, and Michael’s son is a current student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  “In fact, it was Michael Harney, who recommended that we apply to become a non-profit partner in 1% for the Planet,” says Beth Anderson, Plantations’ development director. “So, we are thrilled that Harney and Sons has given our first 1% gift!”

Tulips are a sight in the Young Flower Garden

Published: 
3 years 8 weeks ago
You could come the Young Flower Garden each week from now until mid fall and see something new at each visit. This garden is designed to highlight different species of plants in bloom throughout the growing season. With the 70 degree days this week, most of the tulips are in full bloom throughout the garden, in a rainbow of purples, pinks, reds, yellows and whites.

 

 

We hope you are able to save an hour or two to make a trip to the garden this weekend!

Tulipa "Quebec" (top)

Tulipa "Purissima" (above)

Enjoy signs of spring in our Ringwood Ponds natural area

Published: 
3 years 10 weeks ago
Todd Bittner, Director of Natural Areas at Cornell Plantations visits Ringwood Ponds Natural Area where the sounds of amphibians are filling the air!  Ringwood Ponds is a really special natural area. It's one of the most diverse amphibian habitats in Tompkins County, NY, and is home to over twelve different species. Enjoy this short two-minute video about this unique Cornell Plantations' natural area:

 

View our 2012 Annual Report

Published: 
3 years 11 weeks ago

2012 was a busy and productive year at Plantations. Click here to view our five-minute annual report video.