Being a part of the Learning by Leading program at the Cornell Botanic Gardens has been the most meaningful learning experience I’ve had yet


The LxL program centers on collaboration, co-creation, experiential learning, and the importance of place. Since Fall 2021 I have had the pleasure of co-leading the Sustainable Landscapes team as part of this program, collaborating with a growing group of students from diverse disciplines including environmental engineering, plant science, and environmental sustainability. Our team’s mission is extending native ecologies onto campus to support specialist pollinators and bring awareness to their biocultural importance.

Our most recent project was the Honoring and Healing Akwe:kon Garden. We collaborated with students of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program to design and implement a garden celebrating Indigenous students at Cornell and their connection to the land, and to honor the life of Daniela Lee, a resident of Akwe:kon who died last year. Once a barren lawn, this native medicinal garden is flourishing outside of Akwe:kon Residential Hall.