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Lecture on climate change adaptation by National Geographic Explorer Alizé Carrère, Nov. 8

37 weeks 2 days ago
Adapt and Thrive: Creatively Living in a Climate Changed World

Alizé Carrère, National Geographic Explorer & Cultural Ecologist

With the persistence of climate change, people across the world are experimenting daily with different adaptive methods on the ground. At a time when doomsday narratives dominate the current climate conversation, adaptation plays an increasingly vital role for both its practical application and as a hopeful reminder of our resilience as a species. Alizé Carrère, an Ithaca native and a National Geographic Explorer, will be sharing her experiences from the field looking at remarkable examples of human adaptation. With support from National Geographic, she has been documenting case studies in places such as Madagascar, Bangladesh, India, Norway and the United States to create a web series that reveals human ingenuity and resourcefulness in the face of environmental adversity. Collectively, the story they tell is far grander than the sum of its parts: it is one that reminds us of the single most important trait that has allowed for survival for as long as life has existed on earth.

Interview with Alizé
Here is an insider's look at Alizé, her work, and her insights on human ingenuity in this interview written by Cornell intern Diana Buckley.

Date/time: Wednesday, November 8; 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public
Location: Statler Hall, Cornell University

Sneak a peak at the menu for "A Taste of the Harvest!"

38 weeks 2 days ago
Join us for a sampling of this summer’s garden bounty—along with some outstanding local ciders! Herbs and vegetables harvested from our gardens will be featured in an array of tapas-style dishes prepared by Chef Tim Oltz of Cornell Catering, and paired with ciders crafted by Eric Shatt of Redbyrd Orchard. We’ll discuss some simple methods for harvesting and preserving herbs and garden vegetables, as well as the basics of apple harvesting and cider production. Recipes will be provided. Participants must be 21 or older and prepared to show proof of age. Pre-registration is required.

Date/time: Saturday, November 4; 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Cost: $50 ($45 for Members) Pre-registration is required.
Location: Nevin Welcome Center

Get a sneak peak at the menu and plants used from our gardens in this two-minute video with horticulturist Emily Detrick.

Click here to register.

Cornell Botanic Gardens supports hemlock tree conservation and research with New York State grant

38 weeks 2 days ago

The grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation expands control of an invasive pest that threatens hemlock trees. Read more in a Cornell Chronicle article on October 20.

We're voted "best place for peace and quiet"

39 weeks 23 hours ago

In the 2017 Ithaca Times "Best of Ithaca" we were recognized for the restorative qualities of our gardens and natural areas. Click here to read the full article.

Fall Foliage Arboretum Hike this Saturday

39 weeks 1 day ago
Take it outside on this extended hike through the diverse plant collections and landscapes of the Cornell Botanic Gardens, with a special emphasis on the changing colors of fall. Experience the beautiful gardens, arboretum, woodland trails, and panoramic views that helped Cornell Botanic Gardens earn its #1 ranking as the most beautiful college arboretum. Walk will be held rain or shine and will include some steep slope and stair climbing.

Date/time: Saturday October 21; 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
Cost: $5 suggested donation; no registration required
Instructor: Peter Davies, Cornell Professor Emeritus, Plant Biology and Horticulture
Location: Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center

Lecture on prescribing Nature to prevent and treat chronic disease

39 weeks 1 day ago
Park Rx America is a non-profit organization whose mission is to decrease the burden of chronic disease, increase health and happiness, and foster environmental stewardship, by virtue of prescribing Nature during the routine delivery of healthcare. In his lecture, Dr. Robert Zarr will share how Park Rx America works closely with managers of publicly-accessible land and water, as well as directly with healthcare providers and their respective organizations, to "make it easy" to prescribe parks and other protected areas to their patients real-time in the clinical practice setting. 

This lecture is in partnership with Nature Rx @Cornell, Cornell Health, Horticulture Section, Masters of Public Health degree program

Date/time: Monday, October 23; 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public
Location: Statler Hall, Cornell University

Join a lively discussion on why urban forests are important

40 weeks 6 days ago

Join us for our second Biophilia: ITHACA forum for a lively presentation and discussion.

Jeanne Grace, Ithaca City Forester, will share the inside scoop on what drives tree management decisions, why urban forests are important, and how Ithaca’s urban canopy stacks up against other cities. As forester, Jeanne interacts with tree lovers and tree skeptics on issues related to nature in the city and our connection to it on a daily basis.

Date/time: Tuesday, October 10; 5:00 -6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public; no registration required
Location: Just Be Cause Center, 1013 W. State Street, Ithaca

What is Biophilia: ITHACA?

Biophilia is the human affinity for interacting with nature.  The term “biophilia,” which literally means “love of life,” was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson.

Biophilia: ITHACA is modeled after the Biophilia: PITTSBURGH which is a “pilot chapter for a global Biophilia Network of creative minds dedicated to strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action.”

Our Mission: To strengthen human connections to nature and to advocate for policies and practices that benefit the local natural environment.

Our Goals:
•    To create a supportive and inclusive network that fosters collaboration and learning about biophilia among people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints
•    To welcome and inspire others with the concept of biophilia
•    To explore new approaches to strengthening human connections to nature and to discuss their application to our local community
•    To use our collective voice to advocate for and to assist in the implementation of policies and practices that benefit the natural environment

Free and open to all. Refreshments will be provided. This forum is sponsored by Ithaca Children's Garden, and the biophilia:ITHACA chapter is comprised of numerous individuals and organizations.

Our mission is to strengthen human connection to nature. All are invited to attend this forum and become active with biophilia: ITHACA. Contact or for more information.

Capture the beauty of fall in our “Autumn Hues” painting class

41 weeks 1 day ago
In this day-long workshop for artists of all skill levels, we’ll explore the fullest range of colors available from a dozen tubes of pigment, making a sophisticated color reference chart that will be useful for years to come. Special emphasis will be given to colors for fall botanical illustration. A list of materials will be provided prior to class; please bring a bag lunch or snack. Pre-registration is required.

Date/time: Saturday, October 14; 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $72 ($65 for Members)
Instructor: Camille Doucet, artist
Location: Nevin Welcome Center

Click here to register.

Chocolate and family fun this Sunday!

41 weeks 1 day ago
Celebrate chocolate with tastings, historical stories, and hands-on activities. Come experience the rich story of chocolate, starting with a tree: learn how it grows and how cacao seeds are processed to become lusciously smooth chocolate. Sample different types of chocolates as you learn about their place in history, and honor the Mexican Day of the Dead custom by grinding chocolate nibs on a traditional Mexican metate and decorating a chocolate skull.



Date/time: Sunday, October 29; 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $5 per person, children 5 and under are free
Location: Nevin Welcome Center

Cornell Botanic Gardens featured in the Christian Science Monitor

41 weeks 1 day ago

The Climate Change Demonstration Garden is featured in this story on how botanic gardens are working to help visitors see and understand how climate change may affect them. Click here to read the September 25 article, "Sowing common ground: Botanical gardens tell the story of climate change."

Lecture: The Art of Gardening at Chanticleer

43 weeks 47 min ago
Join Chanticleer's Executive Director and Head Gardener Bill Thomas for a visual tour and behind-the-scenes look at what the Washington Post calls “one of the most interesting and edgy public gardens in America.”  Chanticleer is known for its residential-scale plant combinations featuring foliage textures and colors, its wide variety of containers, and its imaginative homemade furniture.  This is a garden where the staff are the designers, competing with each other and with the horticultural world to make the garden fun, visually exciting, and environmentally responsible. Bill will offer insights on what inspires this special place.  

Date/time: Wednesday, September 27; 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public
Location: Statler Hall, Cornell University

Come to weed dating tonight!

43 weeks 1 day ago

It’s a drop-in volunteer night for singles and couples! Come get down and dirty in our garden beds and meet someone new, or bring your significant other for a unique date night. Relax and unwind, learn about plants from a knowledgeable staff horticulturist, and help keep our gardens looking beautiful. Wear comfortable clothes and bring your own garden gloves and hand tools, if you have them. Light refreshments provided. Open to ages 18 and older. Cancelled in the event of rain.

No pre-registration required.

Location: Meet by the Nevin Welcome Center parking lot on Plantations Road

Run/Walk at Work this Friday with Cornell Botanic Gardens

43 weeks 6 days ago

Director of Natural Areas Todd Bittner shares some of the “hidden gems”
among trails with WHCU, and encouraged listeners to participate in the Run/Walk at (or to) Work/School Day, Friday, September 15; with Gary Cremeens from Cornell University Transportation Services and WHCU’s Lee Rayburn. Listen here to learn about the amazing prizes you could win, too!

Cornell Botanic Gardens featured on The Weather Channel

44 weeks 1 day ago

Sonja Skelly, Director of Eduction and Communication at Cornell Botanic Gardens, was featured on The Weather Channel to talk about the striking discoveries being made in the Climate Change Garden. Click here to view.

Lecture this Wednesday by award-winning author David Haskell on "The Songs of Trees"

44 weeks 1 day ago
Join us this Wednesday to hear from David George Haskell, Pulitzer finalist and winner of the National Academies’ Best Book Award, who spent years listening to trees, attending to the myriad sounds and stories in their branches, roots, and surroundings. In his book “The Songs of Trees,” Haskell repeatedly visits a dozen trees around the world, exploring the trees’ connections with webs of fungi, bacterial communities, cooperative and destructive animals, and other plants.

Haskell believes that we live in a world of countless untold stories hiding in plain sight. “The Forest Unseen,” his previous book and finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, was praised by well-known biologist E. O. Wilson who called it “a new genre of nature writing, located between science and poetry, in which the invisible appear, the small grow large, and the immense complexity and beauty of life are more clearly revealed.”

In this multi-media presentation, Haskell will illustrate how sensory engagement with the world— truly listening—can reveal these hidden strands of life’s connections.

Date/time: Wednesday, September 13, 2017; 7:30 p.m.
Location:Statler Hall Auditorium, Cornell University Campus
Cost: Free and open to the public. No registration required

Veterinary college mends, releases injured bobcat

45 weeks 1 hour ago

With assistance from Todd Bittner, director of natural areas for Cornell Botanic Gardens, a large area near his original home range was chosen to release the bobcat. Click here to read the August 16 Cornell Chronicle article.

Still spots left for "Paint and Sip" on September 17

45 weeks 22 hours ago
Join us for an afternoon of painting and wine in this introduction to botanical watercolors, with acclaimed local artist Camille Doucet. Wine by the glass will be available for purchase from Six Mile Creek Vineyard, our partner for the event. Light snacks and basic watercolor materials will be provided, or bring your own watercolor set. Participants must be 21 or older and prepared to show proof of age. Pre-registration is required.

Date/time: Sunday, September 17; 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $40 ($36 for Members) Wine not included in registration fee.
Location:Nevin Welcome Center

Click here to register.

Lecture and Garden Party on August 30 at 5:30 p.m.

47 weeks 5 days ago
Join Cornell Botanic Gardens for its annual Harder Lecture and Garden Party on Wednesday, August 30, 2017. The Harder Lecture showcases authors and poets who write at the intersection of art and nature. Its aim is to illuminate the beauty, strength, and fragility of our natural world, as viewed through the lens of literature. The lecture and Garden Party are free and open to the public.

The 2017 Harder Lecture will be given by Assistant Professor of English at Cornell, Ishion Hutchinson and will be a reflection on John Clare’s visionary poetics of nature and politics in Caribbean light. Hutchinson is the recent recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry for his collection “House of Lords and Commons.” 

It will be followed by a Garden Party, celebrating Hutchinson’s work and the splendor of Cornell Botanic Gardens at its summer peak. The Garden Party will be held in the gardens surrounding the Nevin Welcome Center, 124 Comstock Knoll Drive, on the Cornell University campus.

Date/time: Wednesday, August 30; 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public?
Location:Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall

Gardening in a Changing Climate

47 weeks 5 days ago
The rising level of greenhouse gases is warming the earth’s temperature, creating change in our environments. Specifically, in the Finger Lakes region, climate change has resulted in warmer winters, summer droughts, extreme weather events, longer growing seasons, and variable temperatures. All of these related effects change the way plants grow, says Donna Levy, environmental educator responsible for our Climate Change Garden. Levy recently presented “Gardening in a Changing Climate” to Master Gardeners and shared these insights on how gardeners can adapt their gardening to respond to changing environmental conditions.

Plant Selection
Strategically choosing plants to put in your garden can help address changing conditions due to climate change. Trying new plants from warmer hardiness zones, growing several varieties of a vegetables that range in days to maturity, choosing more drought-resistant plants, as well as those that tolerate standing water, are some of the ways to ensure that your garden thrives.

Diversifying and choosing your plants wisely is also a great way to attract pollinators and beneficial insects that keep pests under control.

Cultural practices
Healthy, well-drained soil is key to battling droughts and extreme events. Adding organic matter to soil should always be considered. This can be achieved by incorporating organic materials, such as manure, into the soil or growing cover crops or green manures.

During summer droughts, proper watering techniques and retaining soil moisture are critical. Constructing rain barrels, watering during the cool part of the day to avoid evaporation, and using drip irrigation are ways to conserve water.

Organic mulches such as straw will not only control weeds, but also moderate soil temperatures, retain much needed water, and will in time, breakdown and add important organic matter to the soil, which is the foundation to successful gardens.

Design or Redesign
Can you build a rain garden or a bioswale? Can you add some shade to an area of high water intensity and design an outdoor living space? Layer your garden; use vertical space.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint
Some things you can do:
•    plant trees
•    change your mowing patterns or schedules
•    recycle, reduce, and reuse your gardening materials
•    teach others to do the same

More resources on gardening in a changing climate can be found on Cornell Botanic Garden’s website. Learn more about the Climate Change Demonstration Garden online or visit in person. The garden is located across the street from the Nevin Welcome Center. The garden demonstrates how a variety of plants are effected by projected temperatures in 2050.

Partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension encourages gardeners to plant for pollinators

47 weeks 5 days ago
Cornell Cooperative Extension educators across New York State have developed pollinator demonstration gardens in response to public and scientific concern about the declining populations of native pollinators. Jennifer Stengle, Extension Educator in Putnam County, recognized that these gardens would benefit from interpretive signs that encouraged visitors to conserve and create pollinator habitats. In 2016, she received a grant from the New York State IPM program to collaborate with Cornell Botanic Gardens’ interpretation coordinator, Sarah Fiorello, to create sign templates for use by Cooperative Extension educators statewide. Four sign templates were completed in fall 2017 that focus on pollinator-friendly gardening tips, bee habitat, safe pesticide use, and suggested plants.? ?Signs have been installed in 6 gardens throughout the state so far. Jennifer felt the collaboration was valuable because “access to shared resources like these signs help CCE educators deliver a consistent message about the importance of pollinators and our roles in their stewardship.”

Want to create your own pollinator garden and share information with others? Click here to view and print the signs.