Natural Areas Academy

Do you love spending time in our wonderful gorges and riparian areas? Then please join Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Spring Natural Areas Academy (NAA)!

This spring, we will focus on several of the steps involved in creating a rain garden, a water conservation strategy that cleans storm water before it enters our waterways. The management practices learned and re-enforced through hands-on workshops and directed stewardships are transferable to land management at multiple scales, including your yard. The program culminates in participants constructing a beautiful rain garden at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Click here to register for the Natural Areas Academy.

Click here to learn more about this program.

2016 spring schedule:

Thursday, April 9;  6:00 pm - 9:30 p.m.

NAA Orientation (6:00 - 6:30 p.m.)
Here you will learn more about the Natural Areas Academy, Cornell Botanic Gardens and our natural areas in general, and ways in which you can learn and be involved.  Please attend this session.

Rain Gardens workshop (6:30 - 9:30 p.m.)
How can you help our streams and beautify your home landscape at the same time?  You can create a rain garden: a shallow, vegetated depression that collects, absorbs, cools, and filters storm water runoff before it reaches our waters.  In this two-part class, you will first learn about the basic principles and science of rain gardens, then participate in the creation of an actual rain garden at Cornell Botanic Gardens. Designed with native plants that require little maintenance, rain gardens are an inexpensive, relatively simple way to do our part in keeping our waters clean while simultaneously adding value and beauty to our yards.

Location: Nevin Welcome Center
Instructor: Nikki Cerra

Saturday, April 11;  10:00 am - 12:00 p.m. & 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Invasive Species Identification and Control
The invasion of aggressive, non-native plant and insect species is a growing problem in conservation, often leading to the displacement of rare and endangered native plants. In this workshop, we will cover the identification of some of the common herbaceous and woody invasive species, and discuss various control methods.  This outdoor workshop will provide the groundwork for hands-on management activities, and the identification expertise necessary for monitoring and reporting some invasive species.

Location: TBD
Jules Ginenthal & Zeb Strickland

Saturday, April 18; 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Native Seed Propagation

Growing native plants from seeds is an important step for successful habitat restoration projects in natural areas, particularly those that require local genetic material or rare and threatened native plant species. Learn how to successfully grow native plants from seed. This workshop will teach you techniques and provide step by step instructions to grow native plants for use in habitat restorations and landscaping.

Location: TBD
Krissy Boys

Thursday, April 23;  4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Native Plant Identification

Knowing plant communities is critical for land managers, especially when restoring native species.  Cornell Botanic Gardens’s botanist, Robert Wesley will lead this hands-on workshop, focusing on the regional riparian plant communities.  He will cover the basics of the community itself and identifying the more common riparian trees, shrubs and herbaceous species.  The workshop will cover bark, flowers, leaves, fruit, twigs, branching patterns, and other gestalt characteristics to aid in species identification.

Location: TBD
: Robert Wesley

Thursday, April 30; 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Preparing a Site for Planting

For managing a natural area, many steps are taken in order to replant an area with native vegetation and even more so in order to dig a rain garden.  In this stewardship opportunity, Mike will lead participants in the steps necessary to prepare the area for the rain garden we will be creating: clear the invasive species, salvage existing native plants, and preserve the soil, etc. The process is transferable to native plant restoration projects.

Location: Cornell Botanic Gardens Horticultural Center
: Mike Roberts

Saturday, May 2; 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. (rain date: Sunday, May 3)

Demonstration Rain Garden Implementation

This is the second-part of the rain gardens class on Thursday, April 9.

Location: Mundy Wildflower Garden
: Nikki Cerra