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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com, or call (607) 254-7430.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.