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Tulips are a sight in the Young Flower Garden

Published: 
3 years 12 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 14 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 14 weeks ago

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

Cornell Plantations receives the SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture Award

Published: 
3 years 14 weeks ago
Cornell Plantations has received The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) Honor Award for Excellence in Landscape Architecture for the parking and storm water management site plan for the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center. The award will be accepted by Minakshi Amundsen, Cornell University Planner at the SCUP annual conference in July 2013.
 
In concert with the construction of the Nevin Welcome Center, which was opened in 2011, Cornell Plantations also made significant improvements to the surrounding botanical garden. These improvements started with a new parking area and tour- bus drop off zone. The parking area and arrival plaza were partially constructed of Cornell Structural SoilTM, a special substrate design that allows better root penetration to encourage vigorous tree growth.  The filter strip at the parking area is shaded by trees that will become part of our Urban Tree Collection.  Adjacent to the parking area, a new bioswale provides an innovative landscaping approach that precludes the need for conventional underground drainage systems. The bioswale garden includes plants that can withstand dry and wet conditions, all of which filter surface water runoff from the parking lot and surrounding areas.  In addition to its usefulness, the bioswale has fast become one of the most beloved gardens at Cornell Plantations. “We are thrilled that our hard work and conscientious development has been recognized by this prestigious organization,” stated Don Rakow the E. N. Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations.  “Cornell Plantations strives to be a model of bold, sustainable design in all of our projects.”
 

About The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP):

SCUP was established in 1965 and is a community of senior, higher education leaders and the professionals who support them who are responsible for or are involved in the integration of planning on their campuses. The Society for College and University (SCUP) Excellence Awards Program began in 2000 to provide a high-quality program that acknowledges innovative, collaborative, multidisciplinary, and integrated approaches to planning and design, and share lessons learned. The program supports the Society’s goals by identifying emerging areas of knowledge and trends, recognizing significant contributions to the field of higher education planning, and enriching SCUP’s body of knowledge by including the experience and expertise of planners and designers throughout the world.

Part of the Cascadilla Gorge Trail is now open

Published: 
3 years 15 weeks ago

The Cascadilla Gorge Trail, between Lynn Street and Stewart Avenue, is now reopened after being closed for the winter.  The trail weathered the winter relatively well, having no major damage upon initial inspection.  Major repair work on upstream sections of the trail will commence in the next week or two, with contractors starting where they left off last year, rebuilding trail sections below the Stewart Avenue bridge. The current plan is to reopen the fully repaired trail by October of this year.

POETRY BLOOMS IN THE MUNDY WILDFLOWER GARDEN

Published: 
3 years 15 weeks ago
As wildflowers begin to bloom in the Mundy Wildflower Garden, visitors with a mobile phone can experience this garden in a whole new way. During the month of April, Emily Oliver, a graduate student in creative writing at Cornell University will pair several species of plants with poems – just in time for National Poetry Month. Visitors can take a self-guided audio tour of the Mundy Wildflower Garden (located off of Caldwell Road in Ithaca). As visitors explore the garden they will find signs next to many plants with a number, once called they will hear the scientific and common name of each plant, along with a poem read by the poem’s author.

Ms. Oliver spent the last few years traveling the U.S. to record poets reading their poems, creating the “Knox Writers House,” a ‘map of voices’ literary audio archive. She wanted to find an unusual way to make the recordings accessible to the public and approached Cornell Plantations with the idea of a Poetry Walk.

“I’ve been looking for new ways to repurpose these recordings,” stated Ms. Oliver. “I wanted to use these poems to create new ways for people to experience the art of poetry. As I learned about each flower, it just became clear which poem to choose... the detail of the natural description felt akin to an image or phrase in something I’ve recorded.”

April is National Poetry Month and is the time when early-spring wildflowers are prolific in the Mundy Wildflower Garden –  so pairing poems from the audio collection to blooming wildflowers became the perfect match! Ms. Oliver worked closely with Krissy Boys, who oversees the Mundy Wildflower Garden, to match poems to the essence of each spring wildflower.

 

View this short interivew with Emily Oliver about her project.

     

Gorge Safety: Read the latest article on the successes of Cornell's safety efforts

Published: 
3 years 20 weeks ago

In the March/April issue of the Cornell Alumni Magazine, the article "Safety First" gives an in-depth report on Cornell's recent campaign for gorge safety. Click here to read the article.

On display: "Ceramics from the Garden"

Published: 
3 years 20 weeks ago

Learn about a new exhibit by landscape architect, writer, and artist Marc Peter Keane on display at the Nevin Welcome Center and view a short video of the artist discussing his sculptures. Read more

Marc's works are made from substrates of leaves and meadows grasses,some of which were harvested at the Plantations itself. The works, which resemble nests and cocoons, are fired for 5 days in a traditional Japanese wood-kiln. The color patterns and textures of the surfaces are the result of the serendipitous effects of flame on raw clay. The exhibit also includes two ceramic pieces by Momoko Takeshita Keane, Marc’s wife and noted sculptor.

Marc has also designed a new East Asian garden for Plantations. Learn more here.

 



View this 7-minute video of Marc discussing his sculptures.

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Mr. Keane is a graduate of Cornell University; he lived and worked in Kyoto, Japan for 18 years, and has traveled extensively in Asia.  In addition to his work as a landscape architect, Keane has published several books on the design of Asian Gardens, and poetry.  His most recent garden, The Tiger Glen Garden, was completed in 2011 at the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.  Ms. Takeshita Keane was raised in Kyoto, Japan.  She began studying as a potter in the famous kiln-town of Shigaraki.  She went on to study in the Kyoto Laboratory of Traditional Crafts, learning many aspects of traditional glazes and clay bodies.

 

Become a Volunteer Tour Guide

Published: 
3 years 21 weeks ago

Cornell Plantations offers an annual spring training program for anyone interested in becoming a garden docent (tour guide) for the adult group tour program. Volunteer docents interpret the diverse plant collections,unique landscapes and compelling history of Cornell Plantations, and educate adult visitors about the importance and interdependence of plants, people and the natural world. Docents serve as ambassadors throughout the spring, summer and early fall.


 
Applicants are asked to commit to an eight-week training program, which will take place on Wednesday mornings from 10:00 am to 12 noon, at the Nevin Welcome Center, from March 20 through May 8. Additional monthly training sessions will be scheduled for the remainder of the season (June through October). Training is free and all materials will be provided.
 

 


A love of plants, gardens the natural world, and a desire to share that love with others is an essential qualification! Additionally, applicants should possess good oral and interpersonal communication skills, as well as a flexible schedule and availability to lead tours on weekdays, evenings, weekends, and/or holidays. General knowledge of or interest in plants, gardening, horticulture, botany, natural history and/or related areas is extremely helpful; public speaking, teaching or related experience with adult learners is desirable but not required.
 
If interested in signing up or learning more, please contact Kevin Moss, community outreach coordinator, at km274@cornell.edu, or call (607) 254-7430.

Gift Shop sale this Saturday

Published: 
3 years 23 weeks ago

On Saturday, February 16, come enjoy the beautiful winter landscape and stop by our gift shop to enjoy 15% off your entire purchase (members receive 30% off).

Become a Youth Wildflower Guide!

Published: 
3 years 25 weeks ago
As part of Ithaca’s Kids Discover the Trail program, Cornell Plantations offers a spring program for all Ithaca 3rd graders. "Wildflower Exploration: Learning about Plants through Wildflowers" is designed with a school component that prepares the students for their field trip to the Mundy Wildflower Garden.

No experience is necessary just a love for kids and commitment to attend training sessions to learn about our local wildflowers.

 

If you are interested in delivering this program to children in area schools, contact Raylene Ludgate at (607) 255-2407 or RGL3@cornell.edu.

Training Sessions

The training sessions are held on Wednesdays starting February 13th from 10:30 to 12 noon and continue once per week until the end of April. The sessions are designed to prepare you for facilitating activities in the classroom and leading field trips through the Mundy Wildflower Garden at Cornell Plantations. You will also have the opportunity to shadow experienced guides.

School and Garden Visits

School and garden visits take place weekdays during school hours (8am to 2pm) starting May 1st. You pick the actual dates/times that work with your schedule.

After-holiday sale in the Garden Gift Shop

Published: 
3 years 27 weeks ago
If you want to stock up on unique ornaments, decorations or other holiday items, all holiday-themed items in our gift shop are 30% off from now until the end of January. And, if you are a member, you will receive an additional 10% discount.

Please note: The gift shop and the Nevin Welcome Center are closed on weekends in January. It is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting in February, it will again be open on Saturdays.

On Display in the Nevin Welcome Center: "Trees of the Arboretum," photographs by Bo Lipari

Published: 
3 years 28 weeks ago
For lovers of trees, the F.R. Newman Arboretum is an amazing and wonderful space rich in color, detail, shape and form. The tree collections present visitors with a cornucopia of species, varieties, shapes and colors that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Bo Lipari, a local resident and volunteer Docent at Cornell Plantations, has taken pleasure in the beauty of the Arboretum for many years. In 2008 he began photographing Arboretum views, scenes and trees, trying to capture some of the brilliance and beauty he has found there. This exhibit focuses on the trees - the bark, branches, forms and foliage that capture the eyes and stir the primal connections that still reside within us.

 

Bo's photographs will be on display in the lobby of the Nevin Welcome Center from now through February.

F. R. Newman Arboretum closed for winter

Published: 
3 years 31 weeks ago

The F. R. Newman Arboretum is closed to vehicle traffic until further notice. Pedestrians are welcome to explore the arboretum every day from dawn to dusk. Parking is available at the Mundy Wildflower Garden parking lot off of Caldwell Road directly across from the arboretum.

Cascadilla Gorge Trail closed for winter

Published: 
3 years 32 weeks ago

The Cascadilla Gorge Trail from Downtown to Stewart Avenue is now closed for the Winter. Read more

The Cascadilla Gorge Trail from Downtown to Stewart Avenue is now closed for the Winter.  The trail is closed due to hazardous conditions from snow, ice, and falling rock that create unsafe conditions.  This section of trail will re-open in the spring when conditions allow.

Lead Gift Commitment for New Peony & Perennial Gardens

Published: 
3 years 32 weeks ago

plan view of peony and perennial gardenDr. Peter B. Stifel ’58 has made the lead gift commitment for Cornell Plantations’ new Peony and Perennial Gardens, in honor of his daughter, Katherine Stifel ’87. Building on the success of the opening of the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center, 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 perennial gardens, while the plateau on Comstock Knoll will become a dramatic East Asian garden.

Click here to read more.

Holiday Sale at our Garden Gift Shop this Friday and Saturday

Published: 
3 years 32 weeks ago

Join us on Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15 for another holiday sale!   Cornell Plantations members along with Cornell faculty, staff and students will receive 30% off their total purchase*.

Non-members will get 20% off their total purchase*.

*Discount excludes prints and other works of art, and Cornell Sheep Program blankets.

Nevin Welcome Center Holiday Hours

Published: 
3 years 33 weeks ago

winter garden and nevin welcome centerThe Nevin Welcome Center will be closed from Saturday, December 22nd and reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

As always, the grounds are free and open to the public every day from dawn to dusk.

Enjoy the holiday season!

FEMA awards $880,000 grant to repair Cascadilla Gorge trail

Published: 
3 years 34 weeks ago
FEMA recently awarded Cornell $880,000 repair the damage, an addition to the $2.7 million Cornell has already committed for capital improvements to improve safety for Cascadilla and Fall Creek gorges. The gorge trail between Stewart and College avenues was submerged under two feet of water moving so fast that it tore off staircase railings and peeled off whole sections of trail paved with mortar and stone. FEMA recently awarded Cornell $880,000 repair the damage, an addition to the $2.7 million Cornell has already committed for capital improvements to improve safety for Cascadilla and Fall Creek gorges.

Read more in the November 29 Cornell Chronicle online article, "FEMA awards $880,000 grant to repair gorge trail."

Plantations’ Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center Awarded LEED Gold

Published: 
3 years 35 weeks ago

The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center was completed in November 2010 and officially opened to the public on February 1, 2011. The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center is an important part of modernization and infrastructural improvements made at Plantations over the last decade; it is referred to as the "grand finale" of a decade-long construction cycle that has seen new gardens, the redesign of office space, and multiple other projects. Built in the center of the Botanical Garden, at the confluence of existing walking paths, the building is tucked itself into the center of the gardens offering visitors a welcoming experience to Cornell Plantations.

Photo by Jon Reis

Among the notable green building features of the Nevin Welcome Center are wood louvers across the front of the building which serve to filter summer sunlight and admit winter sun for passive heating; rooftop solar tube collectors which generate winter heat; a motorized vent/skylight that provides natural ventilation, and a green roof which helps insulate and protect the roof while also treating stormwater. 

Green roof (photo by Toby Wolf)

Additional features include the extensive use of natural light, local and recycled materials; low-emitting healthy materials; and energy saving lighting fixtures and controls.  In addition to the building itself, the project received points for its construction management techniques, recycling up to 96% of the waste generated during construction.  Rounding out the project were significant landscape elements that contributed to the sustainable sites LEED category including a beautifully designed bioswale garden that cleanses water as it runs off the site and parking areas and the use of structural soil to allow for tree growth in a paved environment.
Buildings that receive LEED V.2 Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council must earn 39 to 51 points points distributed across five major credit categories: Cornell Plantations’ Nevin Welcome Center received 47 points, obtaining points across each category – Sustainable Sites (10), Water Efficiency (2), Energy and Atmosphere (11), Materials and Resources (5), Indoor Environmental Quality (14), and Innovation and Design (5).

Bioswale garden and parking lot (photo by Chris Kitchen)

In addition to being a welcome center for Plantations visitors, the building also serves as a teaching tool for many groups interested in learning more about green buildings,  “I direct many of the campus and student groups interested in green buildings to tour the Nevin Welcome Center.  Not only does the building have a connection with the natural world in both form and materials, but many of the technological and design aspects of green building are clearly visible and are easily described to and understood by visitors.” says Matt Kozlowski, environmental project coordinator at Cornell University.

The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center is named for Brian C. Nevin ’50, at the request of the primary benefactor, C. Sherwood “Woody” Southwick Jr. The Nevin Welcome Center with its Gold LEED designation is a significant step forward in Plantations’ and Cornell’s commitment to sustainability.  Don Rakow, the Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations states, “Cornell Plantations is committed to a sustainable future, as such we are thrilled to receive the USGBC's LEED Gold designation for the Nevin Welcome Center.  Plantations has long needed a single site where we can greet visitors, provide them with orientation and interpretation about our collections and meet their amenity needs.  This dream was fulfilled with the opening of the Center, which helps us achieve our sustainability and educational goals.”


Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, the designers of the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center at the Cornell Plantations, have received much recognition for their design of this ultra-green building.  The Nevin Welcome Center has won a “Award of Excellence” from the AIA New York Chapter, an “Honor Award” at the Tri-state AIA annual conference, a “Design Excellence” award from the Ontario Architects’ Association, and Canadian Architect magazine and online journal.  The building has been featured in several publications and most recently was featured in Greensource Magazine in May 2012.  The general contractor for the project was Welliver, landscape construction was provided by Cayuga Landscape, and the project was managed by the Cornell Facilities Services department formerly known as Planning Design and Construction.  On November 27, 2012, Cornell Plantations will receive its LEED Gold plaque from Tracie Hall, the Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Upstate New York Chapter in a small ceremony.