New York State is experiencing an abnormally dry summer owing to lack of precipitation. The Finger Lakes Region, and Ithaca specifically, is in a “severe drought” as classified by the U.S. Drought Monitor, receiving the lowest amount of rainfall from March to June on record. This is a significant concern for Cornell Plantations because our water source, Fall Creek, is at a record low level.
Cornell Plantations is a living museum of plants that conserves genetic and botanical diversity with a mission to preserve and enhance diverse horticultural collections and natural areas for the enrichment and education of academic and public audiences, and in support of scientific research. Our plant collections are irreplaceable and an invaluable research and educational resource to Cornell, our community, and the global community of plant scientists. For our collections to survive, the plants must receive water. Recognizing the severity of the drought and the need to conserve water, our horticulture and natural areas staff have developed plans to significantly reduce our water use without letting plants die.
Our strategies include those that prevent evapotranspiration or unused water being absorbed into the air. Thus, we are watering in the early morning and late evening when temperatures are lower. At other times, only hand watering directed at root level is used, while sprinklers on timers are used at night. Our staff also employ soaker hoses and water bags to provide irrigation to plants in the botanic gardens and arboretum.
In our natural areas, well-established plants are accustomed to fluctuations in precipitation and, we hope, will to survive this drought. However, within habitat restorations where root systems are not yet well established plants will be more seriously affected and damaged. Therefore, our natural areas stewards are bringing water to priority plants and conserving water around such plants. This involves using landscape fabric to trap water and tree bags.
As the drought continues, Cornell Plantations’ plan to cope with the lack of water is constantly responding strategically as conditions warrant. Our directors of horticulture and natural areas are working closely with Cornell’s Drought Emergency Planning Team on water conservation techniques and identifying alternative water sources, such as water from non-potable water sources and gray water recycling. Our staff have developed a priority plan for continued watering, focusing our efforts primarily on iconic and valuable trees, the long-lived and irreplaceable members of our collections, the botanic garden collections, and newly established native plant communities.
We are taking every step to conserve water and protect our valuable collections. Our staff are working closely with Cornell and City of Ithaca officials to be good stewards of our collections and of our shared water.
Learn more about our efforts in this three-minute interview with Director of Horticulture, Rhoda Maurer.
Date/time: Saturday, August 6 and Saturday September 10; 10:00 a.m.- noon
Cost: Free; no registration required
Instructor: Peter Davies, Ph.D., professor emeritus of plant science?
Location: Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center
For more informaiton call (607) 255-2400, or e-mail email@example.com
The lot will be closed for resurfacing all day July 28. We apoloigize for the inconvenience. Please park at the nearby metered parking lot at the Corner of Tower Road and Judd Falls Road and take a short downhill trail to the Botanical Garden. View metered parking locations on the Cornell map here.
Last year, Cornell Plantations staff gardener Krissy Boys began transforming an area overrun with invasive crown vetch into an attractive and diverse streamside garden abundant with wildlife. Krissy recounts this labor of love in her article "New Gardens at Cornell Plantations Mundy Wildflower Garden."
Date/time: Saturday, August 30; 9:00 a.m. to midnight
Location: Cornell Plantations Botanical Garden
Cost: Free; no pre-registration required.
Instructor: Jason Dombroskie, PhD., Manager of the Cornell University Insect Collection and Coordinator of the Insect Diagnostic Lab
Contact 607-255-2400 for more information, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
On display during July.
We offer scheduled group tours by bus or on foot. Our tours offer visitors the chance to learn about our gardens, history, and plant collections. Each tour is lead by an experienced staff or volunteer tour guide and lasts approximately an hour.
Click here for more information.
(shown above): Scenic stone picnic benches in the Park Park Natural Area adjacent to Fall Creek.
Date/time: June 18 - September 25; Saturdays and Sundays, 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $5; Free for Members and Cornell students; no registration required
Instructor: Volunteer docent
Location: Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center
Click here to view our full calendar of events.
Date/time: Monday, June 20; 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and no registration required
Instructor: Kevin Moss, staff educator
Location: Meet by the Sculpture Garden, in the F. R. Newman Arboretum.
Cornell Plantations -- the arboretum, botanical garden and natural areas of Cornell University -- welcomes all alumni and their families to Reunion Weekend, June 9-11, 2016.
During Reunion our rhododendrons, irises, and peonies will be blooming, and you may still find spring wildflowers in the Mundy Wildflower Garden and natural areas. At the botanical garden you can take a mini-tour, pick up a visitor map and explore on your own, browse the exhibits and gift shop in the Nevin Welcome Center, or just relax and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the gardens and grounds.
Free parking is available at the Nevin Welcome Center, but can be limited during busy times. You can ride a Cornell Reunion shuttle bus to the Dairy Bar/Stocking Hall on Tower Road and walk down the footpath from there. We are also an easy to moderate walk from most points on campus.
For more information, contact Kevin Moss at email@example.com, (607) 254-7430.
Nevin Welcome Center open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., 7 days per week
Saturday, June 11
Spring Plant Sale CANCELLED!
Cornell University has cancelled all outdoor events for today due to the threat of severe storms. We hope to reschedule the sale in the next weeks. Stay tuned!
Cornell Plantations Plant Production Facility, 397 Forest Home Drive
9:00 a.m. – noon
Take home some of Plantations’ gardeners’ top picks for your own home landscape! This spring’s offerings will include some small shrubs, a wide variety of perennials, and some new additions to the horticulture trade.
Botanical Garden Mini Tours CANCELLED DUE TO THREAT OF SEVERE WEATHER
Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center
12:30 - 3:00 p.m.
15-minute mini-tours highlighting significant plants and gardens, launching approximately every 20 minutes.
Cascadilla Gorge Hike CANCELLED DUE TO THREAT OF SEVERE WEATHER
Meet at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts in Collegetown,
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Hike through Cascadilla Gorge and learn about the geology, natural history, and beauty of this scenic greenway. The round-trip one mile hike is moderately strenuous and involves some steep stair climbing.
“The Hangovers” - Allan Hosie Treman '21 Memorial Concert
Central Campus next to the Cornell Store and across from Willard Straight Hall (LOCATION CHANGE FROM THE NEVIN WELCOME CENTER LAWN TO BARNES HALL)
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Enjoy this performance by The Hangovers, the popular a capella subset of the Cornell Glee Club.
All weekend or any time
Explore Cornell Plantations on your own using your mobile device.
an audio tour of the Botanical Garden and Arboretum by calling a number
found on signs and within the visitor map to listen to short narratives
about our gardens, tree collections and other highlights. Use your
smart phone to tour Beebe Lake, Mundy Wildflower Garden and Fall Creek
Gorge by downloading the “Pocketsights” app to follow a Google-driven
map that provides images and information at points of interest along the
route (available from the App Store or Google Play).
Date/time: Thursday, June 23; 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Cornell Plantations Plant Production Facility, 397 Forest Home Drive. For more information, call 607-255-2400 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about this program in the May 31 Cornell Chronicle article "City, university gorge stewards train for summer patrols."
The stewards are also leading tours of the Fall Creek Gorge every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and tours of Cascadilla Gorge every Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm from June through September.
Click here for more details on the Cascadilla Gorge Tours.
Click here for more details on the Fall Creek Gorge Tours.
“Cornell Plantations’ Botanic Gardens and Arboretum are a community gateway to an engaged Cornell. As a living laboratory, we are an incredible asset to the students, faculty, Ithaca community, and beyond” says Rhoda Maurer, director of horticulture at Cornell Plantations. “In our gardens and arboretum, people can feel the human-plant connection and understand the importance of natural conservation and education.”
Click here to see what goes on in these beautiful outdoor classrooms.
Date/time: Friday, May 20, 1:00 - 4:30 PM.
Cost: $15; $10 for Plantations Members
Location: The field trip will depart by van from Plantations Nevin Welcome Center parking lot at 1:00 PM and will return by 4:30 PM.
Date/time: Wednesday, May 18; 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free; Registration is not required
Hike Leader: Todd Bittner, Natural Areas Director
Location: Fischer Old-Growth Forest Natural Area, Newfield.
Click here for directions.
Learn more about the new property in the Tumblr article "Land Protection Expands Cornell Plantations Fischer Old-Growth Forest."
The Cascadilla Gorge is now open following the construction of a new concrete staircase that stretches from the gorge up to the Collegetown entrance of the trail. Read what it took to complete this last step in the eight years of renovation work in the April 27 Ithaca Journal article.
Join us for an artist reception on Sunday, May 15 from 2 - 4 p.m. to meet the artists and hear their perspective on how they approached the subject matter for this exhibit. This event is free and open to the public and no pre-registration is required.