By Sarah Fiorello

In the fall of 2017, Cornell undergraduates Lev Krasnovsky, Samantha Spicka, Diego Burga, and Lisa Yu all met through the biology project incubator “Biology Service Leaders” when discussing their passions for environmental conservation with a member of the Botanic Gardens. From there, they spent over 8 months collaboratively researching and planning aspects of the Buzzline to begin construction in the fall of 2018. After an intensive crowdfunding effort with the help of Buzzline ambassadors and Cornell’s Alumni Affairs and Development, the team was able to raise $11,255 for their project—12% more than their initial goal. 

On November 3rd, 2018, work on the Buzzline officially began with the community-wide soil prep day. The Buzzline team, Buzzline ambassadors, student volunteers, and Botanic Gardens staff all helped prepare the ground for future planting by sheet-mulching the soil and adding in a layer of compost. Sheet-mulching is an organic gardening method in which layers of newspaper or cardboard are layered directly over the planting area to smother weeds, and soil for planting is layered on top. Six months later, on May 4th, 2019, more than 500 native flowers were planted along the Buzzline during another community-wide event. In the months leading up to this, the team worked with the interpretation coordinator of the gardens to distill what information they wanted to communicate along the Buzzline, and how they want it to be presented. After many revisions, they decided on one primary sign that visitors could interact with, as well as smaller “fun fact” signs, individual plant labels, and a brochure with more information. All of this signage was installed on September 14th, 2019, culminating in a grand-opening celebration of the Buzzline.

Completion of the Buzzline would not have been possible without the help of Nikki Cerra, Sarah Fiorello, Jay Potter, Irene Lekstutis, Krissy Boys, Cornell Alumni Affairs and Development, Cornell Community Partnership Funding Board, the Biology Service Leaders, the Office of Undergraduate Biology, the Buzzline ambassadors, all the volunteers who came out to our events, the donors to our crowdfunder, and the Botanic Gardens Staff. 

More About the Buzzline

Buzzline Brochure and Signs

With a variety of tips on educational signage along the path, the Buzzline encourages people […]

Useful Websites

Sources and links for further exploration.

Botanic Buzzline

This pollinator pathway was developed by four Cornell undergraduates to address pollinator decline in the Ithaca community.