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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Want to create your own pollinator garden and share information with others? Click here to view and print the signs.
During the summer programs, students rotate through the diverse jobs and positions at Cornell Botanic Gardens to understand how a public garden operates and to cultivate a deeper appreciation for nature. A typical day for a student could include potting, organizing, cleaning, labeling cuttings, weeding, mulching, and cutting back plants, says Missy Bidwell, who coordinates both the summer program and the botanic gardens’ role in a campus-wide program during the school year. Bidwell manages the production greenhouse for the botanic gardens.
“In addition to the hands-on horticultural skill building, the students learn workplace practices that are important to success on the job,” she says. Punctuality, business etiquette, personal presentation, and attitude are developed and taken seriously in the summer program. “Our aim is that the BOCES students’ biggest takeaway from the program is a well-rounded skillset that is transferrable to future job opportunities.”
While Cornell Botanic Gardens enjoys volunteer service from the BOCES students, the real benefit lies in the opportunity to inspire and prepare students for jobs in horticulture, to connect youth with nature, and to empower them to have a positive impact on the planet.
Dunn is a leading voice for biocultural diversity worldwide. He serves on the board of directors of the International Union for Conservation of Nature-U.S. (IUCN). In 2016, he coordinated the IUCN World Conservation Congress, the largest conservation conference ever held in the U.S. He also serves on the board of directors of the Center for Plant Conservation, based in California.
“With his background in plant ecology and conservation, Christopher has a broad view of issues that relate the plant world to the role of botanic gardens in local and global plant conservation efforts,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Under his direction, Cornell Botanic Gardens is playing a leading role in biocultural conservation, through programs and outreach.”
Read more in the June 26 Cornell Chronicle article "Christopher Dunn honored by national gardens association."
Date/time: Sunday, June 25; 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Cost: $5 suggested donation; pre-registration is not required
Location: Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center
Contact our visitors services desk with any questions at 607-255-2400.
Enjoy a guided tour to discover the beauty and diversity of our numerous gardens, including the Herb Garden, Flower Garden, Groundcover Collection, Tropical Container Display, and more. They will run every Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. through October 1. Learn more here.
Explore Cascadilla and Fall Creek Gorges with Cornell’s knowledgeable Gorge Stewards, which run every Saturday and Sunday, June 17 through September 3. Learn more here.
Created in 2014, the Climate Change Demonstration Garden is ready for its fourth season! We invite you to visit and observe how plants may be impacted by temperature variables projected for 2050. Click here to read more about this garden in a June 8 Cornell Chronicle article.
David Weinstein, Ph.D., a researcher in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell and a member of Cornell Botanic Gardens Advisory Council, has noted warmer temperatures in the wildflower garden over time, and identified which plants are now flowering much earlier than they had in previous years because of the warming trend in climate.
Read more in an article written by David Weinstein on our Tumblr blog.
After weathering for 43 years, the split-rail fence was replaced by botanic gardens construction staff Tim Stewart, Jay Ohlsten, and Lance Hagin. The crew first removed the fence in late December. Over winter, they worked with Locust Lumber Company in nearby Newfield to prepare and cut lumber for the replacement fence. In April, the crew drilled 60 holes for the fence posts. To ensure the fence was secured as strongly as possible, they installed two posts, tightly wired together, in each hole. Each cross rail was secured to the post with 8” screws.
The fence project was funded by gifts from Auraca Herbarists, Tom Butler (above, right, with Pam Shade), and the Ellis H. Robison ’18 Fund. Butler, who has been a regular volunteer in the Herb Garden for six years, said, "Working with Pam Shade [the garden curator], and seeing her commitment to the garden is what spurred my donation."
A big THANK YOU to our volunteers!
Our Natural Areas program is fortunate to have weekly volunteers who, working alongside the natural areas stewardship crew, don’t shy away from strenuous labor. This team was critical to the trail cleanup.
James Hamilton, a dedicated weekly volunteer, said that although shoveling debris and hauling out wooden palettes left from a winter project wasn’t his favorite task, he “enjoyed feeling the mist by the creek.” James enjoys hiking in the woods in our natural areas while monitoring hemlocks for the invasive pest Hemlock Woolly Adelgid because he feels he is “doing something important to protect the natural areas.”
Jan Hill, also part of the weekly volunteer crew said the Cascadilla Gorge clean up was “fun but exhausting” and the gorge was a “beautiful place to work.”
In addition to these volunteers, a number of Cornell students who reside at two fraternities adjacent to the gorge donated their time and hard work.
We are grateful to everyone who helped ready the gorge for opening!
Click here for a list of plants that will be available at the sale.
Date/time: Saturday, June 10; 9:00 a.m. - noon
Location: Cornell Botanic Gardens Plant Production Facility, 397 Forest Home Drive. For more information, call 607-255-2400 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Members only presale, Friday, June 9; 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Become a member now at www.cornellbotanicgardens.org/get-involved/membership, or sign up at the presale.
Gift adds 31.1 acres to Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Palmer-Adams Preserve in the Town of Caroline, a significant preserve for education, research, and the conservation of rare native plant species
Cornell Botanic Gardens has expanded the Palmer-Adams Preserve and its Bald Hill Natural Area with a gift of 31.1 acres from Arthur H. Adams, ’63, BCV ’65, MEN ’66, and his siblings Andrea A. Hastings, and Drew D. Adams. The tract, located on Bald Hill School Road in the Town of Caroline, will be known as the Palmer-Adams Hilltop Tract, Bald Hill.
The new parcel joins the original 87-acre preserve donated in 1982 by Ithaca lawyer Armand Adams, ’31, and his family. It was named to honor the long involvement of Charles Palmer and Armand Adams in natural history and environmental education. The addition of the hilltop tract brings the total size of the Palmer-Adams Preserve to 118.56 acres.
The hilltop tract is a welcome enhancement to the Palmer-Adams Preserve, whose unique features make it valuable for research and preservation purposes.
“The Palmer-Adams Preserve—along with a non-contiguous 100-acre parcel and some adjoining state forest land—are the only places in the Cayuga Lake drainage where native mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia, and hair grass, Deschampsia flexuosa, can be found,” said Todd Bittner, Director of Natural Areas for Cornell Botanic Gardens. “The new tract also improves access for the study and enjoyment of the plants, insects, amphibians, and birds present there. The property is bounded by Bald Hill School Road and offers a new point of entry and trailhead from the east side of the preserve.”
A number of researchers from Cornell and other area colleges and universities have utilized the Palmer-Adams Preserve for their work. The preserve has served studies in ecology, evolutionary biology, soil science, insect biology and microbiology.
One ongoing research project in the Palmer-Adams Preserve—along with other Botanic Gardens’ natural areas—is being led by Christine Goodale, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell. Goodale has been measuring uptake of carbon dioxide in these forested areas for several years.
“One especially valuable attribute of the parcel is the side-by-side location of primary forest (never cultivated or with some light harvest) and old-field forest, that which has not been cultivated in 100 or more years,” she said. “We see that the old-field forests gain CO2 in both trees and soils for more than a century after abandonment, and that the primary forests are still very productive even though they are relatively old.”
The Cornell Botanic Gardens’ provides public access to the Bald Hill Natural Area and the Palmer-Adams Preserve via a 1.1-mile trail, accessible from either Bald Hill or Bald Hill School Roads in the Town of Caroline. Wooded trails ascend portions of a very large, contiguous forested area along an abandoned road in this southeastern part of Tompkins County.