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.
Dates/times: Thursday, October 2; 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 2; 1-5 p.m.
Instructor: Nikki Cerra, Natural Areas Manager
Location: Nevin Welcome Center
Click here for more information and to register.
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:
Date/time: Wednesday, October 1; 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Statler Hall Auditorium, Cornell University
Click here for the full 2014 Lecture Series lineup.
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.
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.
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.
Event date/time: Monday, September 15; 4:30-5:00 p.m.
Location: Treman Triangle Park at the base of the trail off of Linn Street
Christopher Dunn, E. N. Wilds director of Cornell Plantations
KyuJung Whang,vice president of facilities services, Cornell University
Carolyn Peterson, former Mayor of the City of Ithaca
Mayor Svante Myrick, Mayor of the City of Ithaca
Todd Bittner, director of Natural Areas for Cornell Plantations
Everyone is invited to do a self-guided tour of the gorge after the ceremony.
In a tribute to Nathaniel Rand ’12, about 50 Cornell and local community members gathered at the Cornell Plantations’ Nevin Welcome Center August 26 to dedicate the Nathaniel Rand ’12 Memorial Gorge Safety Education Program.
Among them were Rand’s sister, Freya, and parents, Dr. Jacob Rand and Maggi Rand, who have been strong advocates for the gorge safety education program, created after Nathaniel died in a swimming accident in Fall Creek Gorge in 2011. The program promotes the safe enjoyment of the natural gorges that slice through campus, cascading in stunning but dangerous splendor to the flatlands below. Click here to read the full August 28 Cornell Chronicle article.
Date/time: September 17, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $50 ($45 members or Cornell students)
Location: Plantations' Botanical Garden
Click here to register.
Free lecture after the party
Join Amy Stewart for her lecture exploring the dizzying array of plants that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol.
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 17, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Statler Hall Auditorium, Cornell University
Learn more here.
In Jack Elliot's words:
"Victis acernis" is latin for "vanquished maple." It is one of a series of pieces referencing the harmful effects of global warming. These pieces are positioned to resemble the checkmated king in chess. In this case, warmer winters are leading to less sap production and increased tree mortality. This body of work is entitled "arbortecture." These pieces are derived from large tree parts that have been harvested by Cornell University. These examples range in scale from small to large, from handheld to cranelifted. They are intended to challenge ideas about the human/nature relationship through juxtapositions of the geometric and the organic; the intentional and the spontaneous; the light and the dark. They often refer to a specific environmental issue, such as climate change or the decline of nature appreciation, but their primary purpose is to move the viewer though their scale, power, and intricacy.
Take home some of Plantations gardeners’ top picks for your own home landscape! This fall’s offerings will include small shrubs, a wide variety of perennials, and some new additions to the horticulture trade. 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Location:Cornell Plantations Plant Production Facility, 397 Forest Home Dr. (The sale was originally scheduled for August 30.)
Consider an orchid’s foot-long spur and a moth’s 12-inch tongue stretching through the spur to reach the orchid’s nectar. Poet Joanie Mackowski sees in this biological oddity the same co-evolutionary process that gives us poetry. She’ll explore this process on Sept. 3 at 5:30 p.m. in Call Auditorium. Read more.
Consider an orchid’s foot-long spur and a moth’s 12-inch tongue stretching through the spur to reach the orchid’s nectar. Poet Joanie Mackowski sees in this biological oddity the same co-evolutionary process that gives us poetry.
She’ll explore this process for the Cornell Plantations’ William and Jane Torrence Harder Lecture Sept. 3 at 5:30 p.m. in Call Auditorium. The lecture, “You're the Bee's Kinesis: Poetry and Coevolution,” will include readings of poems by Mackowski and others and is open to the public.
Read the full article by Linda Glaser here.
Click here to see the 2014 Fall Lecture Series lineup.
“I’m passionate about trees. To share my love of these ‘places for trees’ through this book fulfills a real dream,” said McDougall.
Read the full article on Plantations Tumblr here.
By Christopher Dunn, Ph.D., the E. N. Wilds Director
Having recently joined Cornell Plantations, I am immediately amazed by the quality of the staff, gardens, natural areas, and the unique and often sacred plants in our collections. Many trees that grace our botanical garden and arboretum have been providing beauty and shade since the earliest days of Plantations. Among those is the beautiful Magnolia macrophylla, the big-leafed magnolia nestled between the Nevin Welcome Center and the Lewis Education Building in the heart of the botanical garden. In this location, it is far from its normal range of the Southeastern United States. This magnificent tree, estimated to be over 50 years old, has been a key feature of the botanical garden since 1966. It has aged and elicited countless cries of wonder as visitors pass under its canopy and admire its huge and beautiful flowers. It is, unfortunately, reaching the end of its life. We have been tracking the health of this tree, noting various signs of decay and poor health, for many years. Our lead arborist recently said to me, “as with all living things, there comes a time when steps to preserve our trees and protect our visitors and staff are limited to only one option. This magnolia, sadly, has many serious structural and disease issues, which combined pose a significant risk of failure.”
And so it is with great regret that our treasured big-leafed magnolia will come down by the end of season. We invite you to say goodbye and marvel at its giant leaves and beautiful blooms one final time. Our horticulture staff has been growing a seedling of this tree, anticipating that this replacement will one day be needed. Once the seedling has been planted, we will have the pleasure of watching it grow and mature and enjoying another 50 years of splendor. Although we are sad, we take heart in this reminder from Aldo Leopold “There are two great acts, one is to harvest a tree because it involves faith that another will grow. The other is to plant a tree, because one must believe that it will grow.”
The video below features Lee Dean, Plantations' Lead Arborist, explaining his careful and thoughtful decision to remove this much beloved tree.
To read Lee Dean's interview with the Ithaca Journal about this tree, click here.
As part of our collaboration with Cornell’s American Indian Program, please join us this Saturday, July 12, in honoring the Haudenosaunee long-practiced peace-making tradition of planting a white pine at Cornell Plantations as an emblematic Tree of Peace in an effort to strengthen the message of peace and unity.
Date/time: Saturday, July 12; 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
Location: Plantations Plant Production Facility, 397 Forest Home Drive, Ithaca
Speaker: John Block (Seneca Allegany) will lead a traditional Haudenosaunee opening and closing and will give a short talk on "The Significance of the Haudenosaunee tradition of planting white pine as a tree of peace."
Interactive performance: The Allegany River Indian Dancers will lead participants in a Round Dance and Haudenosaunee song, music and dance.
Peace Offerings: There will be an opportunity for participants to offer messages of peace.
View this event on our calendar here.
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