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Cornell Reunion Weekend 2013 at Cornell Plantations

2 years 15 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

2 years 15 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

2 years 17 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

2 years 19 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

2 years 19 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

2 years 19 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

2 years 20 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.


2 years 20 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

2 years 25 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"

2 years 25 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.