Gortzig served as acting director of Cornell Botanic Gardens in 1988, and returned as director from 1993 to 1996. One of his most notable achievements was the creation of what was then known as the Plantations Path system. This series of nine interconnected pedestrian trails totaling eight miles, supported by the Cowie Family, features interpretive information on the natural and architectural history of the Cornell Campus.
Gortzig and his wife Jean are honored with a plaque at the Cornell Botanic Garden which reads, "In honor of Jean and Carl Gortzig In recognition of their 57 years of service to Cornell in so many roles, in so many ways from so many friends, April 1997"
Read more in a June 11 Cornell Chronicle article.
For a full description of events listed below, click here for a printable pdf.
Schedule of events:
THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2018
Beebe Lake Natural History Walk
2:00 to 3:30 p.m., Beebe Beach
FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2018
10:00 - 11:00 a.m., Nevin Welcome Center, Plantations Road
Cascadilla Gorge Hikes
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (see also Saturday listing for additional time) Meet at the College Avenue entrance to the trail, located at the northeast corner of the Schwartz Performing Arts Center.
Mundy Wildflower Garden Tour
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, Mundy Wildflower Garden, Caldwell Drive entrance
Rhododendron Collection Tour
2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Nevin Welcome Center, Plantations Road
SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018
9:00 - 10:00 a.m., Nevin Welcome Center, Plantations Road
Cascadilla Gorge Hike
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. (see also Friday listing for additional times)
Meet at the College Avenue entrance to the trail, located at the northeast corner of the Schwartz Performing Arts Center.
“The Hangovers” – Allan Hosie Treman '21 Memorial Concert
3:00 to 4:00 pm, Nevin Welcome Center, Plantations Rd.
The invasive insect emerald ash borer threatens 200 ash trees on central campus and more than 2,000 in campus natural areas. Staff at Cornell Botanic Gardens and Facilities and Campus Services are collaborating with faculty and students to address inevitable loss of trees. Read more in a May 21 Cornell Chronicle article.
Date/time: Saturday, June 2; 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Cost: Free; $5 suggested donation; registration is not required
Instructor: Dr. Peter Davies, Cornell Professor Emeritus, Plant Biology and Horticulture
Location: Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center
During National Gardening Week, Friday June 1 to Sunday, June 10, the Garden Gift Shop is offering:
• 20 percent off all plant kits and seeds, including ones from the Seed Savers Exchange (shown left) and the Cornell Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics.
• 20 percent off Cornell Botanic Gardens apparel.
• 20 percent off all Beekman Collection items.
Arboretum tours, third Sunday of each month
Starting May 19, the third Sunday of each month at 1 p.m. (May - October), join a Garden Guide on a tour of the F. R. Newman Arboretum. Each month, the guide will visit unique locations, such as Houston and Grossman Ponds, Zucker Shrub Collection, Newman Overlook, and more. Meet at the Sculpture Garden; $5 suggested donation.
When I was an undergraduate student a few years ago (OK, a few decades ago), one of my favorite classes was dendrology. What I really enjoyed was learning hundreds of Latin or Latinized names of the trees of the Northeast and coming to understand what the names mean. For instance, Acer saccharum, with “saccharum” referring to sweet or sugar (think of the artificial sweeter saccharin). No wonder its common name is sugar maple.
Common names reveal a lot about a plant if you care to dig a little. Consider the small tree, Amelanchier canadensis (or any of its North American relatives of which there are many,) which often goes by the common name “shadbush.” Now, I learned this common name during my dendrology class. We were told that this plant goes by shadbush because when the shrub is in flower, shad (a type of fish) are spawning in the streams. For me, that was the end of the story.
Fast forward to today. As it turns out, the name “shadbush” does not just signify an interesting coincidence between flowering and spawning. It is much more significant, because for many Native American tribes, its flowering signals the availability of shad as a food source. Today, shadbush flowers earlier in the spring, but its namesake fish species isn’t yet spawning. Thus, this important biological cue is no longer of such cultural value.
A team of us at Cornell is working with Native American communities to find ways to “recalibrate” this kind of ecological calendar. Specifically, are there other biological cues that can substitute for shadbush, or for any other aspect of Native American cultural tradition? The temporal disconnection between Shadbush blooming and shad spawning is one of numerous examples of how environmental changes are having human cultural consequences, in some cases leading to cultural and language loss. Suffice it to say, we are very good at informing visitors, students, and others about the interesting evolutionary and economic aspects of plants. We hope to do a better job of describing their human cultural values and significance. With a greater awareness of these cultural connections, we will be better stewards of our natural world and of our amazing cultural diversity. Shown right: Amelanchier x grandiflora
'Princess Diana' grows in the Newman Arboretum
For a beautifully told version of the shadbush story, check out the children’s book When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger and Susan Katz.
As the sun sets we will have a brief introduction to moths and then fire up bright lights to attract them. We will learn how to identify the myriad forms of moths that arrive through the night and learn about their natural history. Stop by for a few minutes or bring a lawn chair and hang out for the evening. Bring a flashlight or headlamp.
Date/time: Friday, June 15; 9 p.m. to midnight
Cost: Free and registration is not required
Location: Palmer Woods Natural Area, located on Cornell's North Campus, adjacent to the “A” Lot, off Pleasant Grove Road.
Dates/time: Tours are offered the third Sunday of each month, rain or
shine: May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16, & October
21 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and no registration required
Location: Meet by the Sculpture Garden in the central arboretum area.
Date/time: Monday, May 21; 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free (donations welcome) and no registration is required
Location: Meet at the Mundy Wildflower Garden entrance, off of Caldwell Drive
Learn more about our gorge safety efforts in the Cornell Chronicle article "Gorge safety highlighted in new signage, student awareness efforts."
Date/time: Saturday, May 19; 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $30 ($27 for members); pre-registration is required
Location: Nevin Welcome Center
In the Gardens around the Nevin Welcome Center
Hundreds of daffodils are in bloom on Conifer Slope and in a new planting along the Bioswale Garden.
Many varieties of tulips are blooming in the Young Flower Garden.
The first of the rhododendrons are blooming on Comstock Knoll, including Rhododendron 'Mary Fleming,' planted last season (shown above). This is one of 12 varieties planted in the rhododendron collection that were bred by Guy Nearing, whom the Nearing Summerhouse was named in honor of.
In the Garden Gift Shop
20% off all Botanic Gardens branded apparel and gifts! All purchases of $25 or more will recieve a free gift.
In the F. R. Newman Arboretum
Magnolias, crabapples and cherries are in peak bloom in the Flowering Tree Collection and Flowering Crabapple Collection.
In the Mundy Wildflower Garden
Now is the time to visit the Mundy Wildflower Garden to enjoy the delicate early-blooming woodand wildflowers. Trilliums, hepaticas, trout lilies (shown above), bellwort and dutchman's britches are just a few of the dozens of species growing there.
Date/time: Six Wednesday sessions, May 16 - June 27 (no class June 20); 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $200; $190 for members; Pre-registration is required.
Instructor: Camille Doucet, artist
Location: Nevin Welcome Center
Click here to register.
• 8:00 a.m: Morning Bird Walk. Meet at the Sculpture Garden in the Arboretum.
• 10:00 a.m: Wildflower Garden Tour. Meet at the Mundy Wildflower Garden entrance off of Caldwell Drive.
• 12:00 p.m: Mindful Botany Walk. Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center.
• 2:00 p.m: Garden Highlights Tour. Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center.
Special offers at the Garden Gift Shop
All weekend: 20% off all Botanic Gardens branded apparel and gifts! All purchases of $25 or more will recieve a free gift.
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m: "Plant a Succulent" activity. Purchase a pot or mug and a succulent to plant for yourself or as a gift! Complimentary fruits, veggies, and beverage tasting.
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m: DarlingCake cupcake samples, with cupcakes and cookies for sale in the gift shop.
Bird Walks: Fridays, May 4, 11, 18, and 25; 8:00 a.m. Meet by the Sculpture Garden, in the F. R. Newman Arboretum.
Wildflower Walks: Sundays, May 6, 13, 20, and 27; 1:00 p.m. Meet at the Lab of Ornithology Visitor Center.
Cost: Free and no registration is required
Instructors: Cornell Botanic Gardens and Lab of Ornithology Volunteers
Date/time: Thursday, May 3; 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Cost:$12; $10 for Members
Sue Garland, plus children Clara and Rohan
Learn more about what it takes to prepare the trail for its seasonal opening, and maintain it year round here.
Date/time: Sunday, April 22; 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and registration is not required
Location: Meet at the Cornell Community Garden Plots, off of Freese Road, about halfway between NY Route 366 and Hanshaw Road. Watch for a driveway entering the parking area on the east side of the road.
Note: The Cayuga Trail is among Tompkins County’s 240 miles of public trails, highlighted on the website “Out on the Trails” (www.ithacatrails.org). The site provides comprehensive, searchable information on all trails, and is optimized and GPS enabled for use on mobile devices.
An early summer display of Allium 'Purple Sensation' along with A. atropurpureum, A. nigrum and A. sphaerocephalum will flank the mown path in Newman Meadow near the entrance to the Arboretum on Caldwell Drive, between the Nut Tree Collection and Slim Jim Woods.
The bulb plantings are a collaboration between Cornell Botanic Gardens and Professor William Miller, of the School of Integrative Plant Science. More than 30,000 bulbs were planted in October 2017 in the arboretum and outside the Nevin Welcome Center using an innovative mechanical bulb planter and bulbs donated by from David Strabo ’80, of Longfield Gardens.
Read more about this collaboration here.