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The Landscape Architecture Foundation publishes comprehensive study of Cornell Plantations’ bioswale garden

Published: 
15 weeks 6 days ago
The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) has published a comprehensive case study of the bioswale garden at Cornell Plantations. This is the first Cornell University site chosen for the LAF’s case study program, and was selected because the LAF believes the site shows the potential for a demonstration of substantial landscape benefits. The study was conducted by Michele Palmer, of dba Templeton Landscape Architecture & Planning located in Cooperstown, NY, in 2014.

The bioswale was installed as part of the Nevin Welcome Center building project in 2010. The project, which includes a green roof, and several other sustainable features, received LEED Gold from the U.S. Building Council. The bioswale was designed to slow and clean storm water runoff from the parking lot while providing an attractive garden landscape, which is more ecologically-minded than a traditional storm drain system. The garden is used as a teaching landscape to showcase the benefits and functions of a bioswale garden.

The landscape surrounding the Nevin Welcome Center serves as a pedestrian-friendly gateway to the adjacent 25-acre botanical garden and features a lush horticultural display with interpretive signage that articulates some of the ecosystem services provided by the bioswale, filter practices, and green roof.

Some of the bioswale's performance benefits found by Palmer are:
  
    •    Eliminates an estimated 78,000 gallons of runoff per year, reducing annual stormwater runoff from the site by 31%.
  
    •    Increases biodiversity. The bioswale contains over 50 plant species, giving it a Reciprocal Simpson Index of 11.5, which is 26.3 times higher than that of a turfgrass seed mix typically used for dry swales.
  
    •    Provides recreational and educational opportunities for an estimated 50,000 visitors per year based on 2013 counts. 68% of 71 survey respondents achieved the bioswale learning objectives, answering 7 out of 9 questions correctly.

    •    Helps galvanize visitor interest and support for green infrastructure. 92% of the 71 survey participants said they were interested in seeing green infrastructure in their communities, and 52% report that they are likely to install smaller scale practices in their home landscape.

“We are honored to be selected for this case study program,” stated Dr. Christopher Dunn, the E. N. Wilds director of Cornell Plantations. “The bioswale garden has quickly become one of the premier gardens of its kind, inspiring other botanic gardens to create similar landscapes, as well as inspiring visitors to create similar gardens in their communities and in their own backyards.”

The bioswale garden was designed by Tobias Wolf of Wolf Lighthall Landscape Architecture and Planning, along with Mary Hirshfeld, retired director of horticulture for Cornell Plantations and Irene Lekstutis, landscape designer at Cornell Plantations.

To see the full results of the LAF study please visit: https://lafoundation.org/research/landscape-performance-series/case-studies/case-study/740/

Gourd art workshop: Make a braided rim gourd on October 18

Published: 
15 weeks 6 days ago
Join us for a new botanical art class focusing on gourd art and the technique of braided leather rims.  In this class you will learn to create the braided rim, which adds an elegant finishing touch to many types of gourd art. Using real leather lacing on a prepared gourd bowl, you will leave with a beautiful finished gourd. Class fee includes gourd, leather and all other materials. Pre-registration required.

Date/time: Saturday, October 18; 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Cost: $60 ($55 Plantations volunteers, members and Cornell students)
Instructor:Terry Noxel, president of the New York State Gourd Society
Location: Plantations Nevin Welcome Center

Click here to register.

This is the first of three gourd workshops offered at Cornell Plantations this fall.

Gourd basket workshop: November 15; 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Gourd ornament workshop: December 3; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Lecture on transforming your backyard into a wildlife haven

Published: 
15 weeks 6 days ago
This is the story of an artist's love affair with a piece of land, and the birds, animals, and plants that inhabit it. Simple habitat enhancements can take a back yard from bland to bustling with wildlife. In this talk, artist/writer Julie Zickefoose shows how she and her husband have transformed their abandoned farm into a wildlife sanctuary and observatory—a perfect personal habitat.

 

Date/time: Wednesday, October 15; 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free; no-registration is required.
Location: Statler Hall Auditorium

This lecture is in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Cayuga Bird Club.

Julie will give her talk, The Bluebird Effect, at the Cayuga Bird Club Meeting at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on Monday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. Learn more here.

Help Protect our Natural Heritage: Join the Natural Areas Academy

Published: 
17 weeks 2 days ago
Do you love spending time in the forests, meadows and other natural areas of the Finger Lakes region?  Do you care about preserving the integrity of the natural world and do you want to share this love with others?  If so, consider joining Plantations’ Natural Areas Academy. 

Natural Areas Academy is offered twice annually—fall and spring. Each season will focus on specific conservation strategies and a specific restoration project within our natural areas. The management practices learned and re-enforced through hands-on workshops and directed stewardships are
transferable to restoration and land management at multiple scales. Enrollment in the fall program is $90/nonmembers and $75/members and students.

Fall 2014 workshops include creating a rain garden, invasive species control, native seed collection, site preparation and native plant identification. Click here for a full schedule.

The first NAA workshop will be a mandatory orientation, and will be held on Thursday, October 2 at 6:00 p.m.

To learn more or to enroll online, clik here

Rain Garden workshop starts October 2

Published: 
17 weeks 4 days ago
How can you help our streams and beautify your home landscape at the same time?  You can create a rain garden: a shallow, vegetated depression that collects, absorbs, cools, and filters storm water runoff before it reaches our waters.  In this two-part class, you will first learn about the basic principles and science of rain gardens, then participate in the creation of an actual rain garden at Cornell Plantations. Designed with native plants that require little maintenance, rain gardens are an inexpensive, relatively simple way to do our part in keeping our waters clean while simultaneously adding value and beauty to our yards. Pre-registration is required.


Dates/times: Thursday, October 2; 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 2; 1-5 p.m.
Cost: $60
Instructor: Nikki Cerra, Natural Areas Manager
Location: Nevin Welcome Center

Click here for more information and to register.

Hike the Cayuga Trail this Sunday to Celebrate 50 Years!

Published: 
17 weeks 4 days ago
The Cayuga Trails Club proposed the Cayuga Trail in 1964 as a special project to offer visitors and Ithacans an introduction to the many beautiful and interesting areas that are within easy walking distance of Ithaca. The Cayuga Trail follows Fall Creek for 8-1/2 miles past hemlock- lined gorges, waterfalls, and through Cornell Plantations' botanical garden, arboretum and natural areas.

On Sunday, September 28, the Cayuga Trails Club will offer two guided hikes to celebrate the trail's 50th anniversary. An 8-1/2-mile hike begins at 9:00 a.m. and a 4-1/2-mile hike begins at 12:15.

Click here for more information and to register for these hikes.

Much of the Cayuga Trail also runs through Plantations Fall Creek and Monkey Run Natural Areas. Click below to view trail maps of these areas:

Fall Creek Valley (North) Natural Area
Monkey Run Natural Area

Upcoming Lecture: Founding Gardeners with historian Andrea Wulf

Published: 
17 weeks 5 days ago
For George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions. Join award-winning historian Andrea Wulf for a beautifully illustrated talk looking at the lives of the founding fathers and how their attitude to plants, gardens, and agriculture shaped the American nation.

 

Date/time: Wednesday, October 1; 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Statler Hall Auditorium, Cornell University
Cost: free

Click here for the full 2014 Lecture Series lineup.

Family Fun at Judy's Day! September 21 RAIN OR SHINE!

Published: 
18 weeks 1 day ago

Today’s the day!!! Come shop at our all fruit market, explore Appleville, visit the Weird and Wacky Fruit Museum, travel to the tropics, dance to the Caribbean Fruit Band, find your way through our apple maze and much much more!!  Don’t let a little rain stop you from coming out to the BEST FAMILY FUN EVENT OF THE YEAR!!!

GO BANANAS exploring the fun and fascinating world of fruits at our Judy's Day Family Festival on Sunday, September 21 from 1 to 5 p.m. Free parking is located at Cornell's B-lot off Route 366. A shuttle bus to the arboretum will be provided. Handicapped parking is located in the arboretum. For more information, click here.

Enjoy the reopened Cascadilla Gorge on a guided hike

Published: 
18 weeks 5 days ago

Join us for this guided hike by Cornell Plantations Director of Natural Areas, Todd Bittner, to learn about and view efforts to rebuild the Cascadilla Gorge Trail. Please wear sturdy hiking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Hike is moderately strenuous and involves some steep stair climbing. The Hike is free but pre-registration is required. Click here to register.

Meet at the college Avenue entrance to the trail, adjacent to the Schwartz Performing Arts Center.

Cascadilla Gorge was officially opened on September 15 with an opening ceremony
Cornell Plantations' director, Christopher Dunn, Cornell's vice president of facilities and services, KyuJung Whang, former Ithaca Mayor, Carolyn Peterson, current mayor of Ithaca, Svante Myrick, and Plantations' director of natural areas, Todd Bittner welcomed close to 200 guests and expressed their gratitude and excitement for the gorge's reopening.  A self-guided tour showing current and historical construction efforts will remain in the gorge until winter closing.

To read the Ithaca Journal article about the reopening ceremony click here.

Grow a Career! Support Plantations Internship Program

Published: 
19 weeks 5 days ago
This summer, 11 Cornell student interns spent 12 weeks working and learning at Plantations, and have now launched a crowdfunding project to ensure that more students will have the same opportunity next year. Check out their video and what they have to say about their experiences at crowdfunding.cornell.edu/plantations.
 
Unlike many internships in the corporate sector, the Plantations internships are paid, full-time positions, enabling the students to earn money for college while they gain valuable career experience. The current cost of the program is $5,500 per intern, including the student's wages, program expenses for field trips and group workshops, equipment and materials, and coordinator's salary. We have funding for 6 positions with income from permanent endowments and annual commitments from generous donors, and have offered additional positions each year with support from unrestricted gifts. With rising costs and increased pressure on our general operating budget, we need to raise $10,000 in order to be able to offer at least 8 internships in summer 2015.
 
Your gift—at any level—will help the students meet our goal and ensure funding for 2 student internships next year. 

This fundraising project end on September 30th, so click here to please give now!