Read the latest news stories on Cornell Botanic Gardens and articles tapping the knowledge of our staff experts

In the News

Nine stunning Upstate NY Public Gardens

CNY News – WDOS-AM-September 7, 2021

Cornell Botanic Gardens is noted as one of the most beautiful public gardens in Upstate New York.

In the News

Eight reasons to visit Tompkins County

Oswego County Today-September 3, 2021

Cascadilla Gorge, F. R. Newman Arboretum, and gardens around Nevin Welcome Center are mentioned.

In the News

Where to go: walking and running

Ithaca Times-August 30, 2021

Trails at the Monkey Run and Beebe Lake natural areas are highlighted.

In The News

Go ‘Wild at Cornell’ with artist, plant stylist Hilton Carter

Cornell Chronicle—October 2, 2019

Baltimore-based artist, designer, and plant stylist Hilton Carter headlined “Wild at Cornell” week, which included a 1,000-plant-giveaway to students, indoor plant sale, and plant-care workshop. 

In the News

Collaborations power progress of Dryden Rail Trail

WHCU Radio-July 27, 2021

Todd Bittner, director of natural areas, provides an update on the community- and university-driven  Dryden Rail Trail. Once completed, will provide a continuous 20-mile off-street connection from East Ithaca and Cornell University to Dryden Lake and beyond.

In the News

Cornell Botanic Gardens Plant Hope in the Cornell Community

Jeannie Yamazaki ‘21, co-lead of the Cornell Botanic Garden Ambassadors, talks to the Cornell Daily sun about the peace and togetherness afforded by the gardens’ accessible outdoor spaces.

In the News

Students Flock Outdoors for Wellness Days as Spring Blossoms at Cornell

Justice Hoff ’24, tells the Cornell Daily Sun that said he enjoyed his Wellness Days with spent time exploring the Cornell Botanic Garden, using it to relax safely with friends.

In the News

Class of 1945 Lecture Covers Racial Equity in Environmentalism

Drawing sociological and historical research from her bestselling book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors, Carolyn Finney discussed the historical barriers that still keep Black and Indigenous Americans from engaging in natural spaces.

In the News

Cornell removing ash trees, as replanting effort launches

We are raising funds to replant trees across our natural areas, cultivated gardens, and arboretum to increase their health and resilience.

In the News

Conservation Champion

Todd Bittner, director of natural areas, is featured by the Center for Plant Conservation for his role in stewarding 3,600 breath-taking natural areas.

In the News

Cornell Botanic Gardens awarded Engaged Research Grant

Todd Bittner, director of natural areas, and Cornell Botanic Gardens received an Engaged Research Grants from the Office of Engagement Initiatives. The Quagmire of Deer Management  will assess impacts and public attitudes about deer populations in Tompkins County municipalities

In the News

Cornell reminds the public to stay safe while enjoying the gorges

The Ithaca Voice shares guidance on safely enjoying the gorges and natural areas stewarded by Cornell Botanic Gardens, including a gorge safety website  and new procedures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the News

Cornell Botanic Gardens and Arboretum Offer ‘A Place of Serenity in Troubled Times’

The Cornell Daily Sun reports that Cornell Botanic Gardens remains open to visitors with social distancing guidelines in place.

In the News

Advisory Council member Greg Page reflects on 40 years of art practice

After a 40-year career as an artist and member of the art faculty at the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Page recently installed his final faculty show of prints in the John Hartell Gallery ahead of his retirement this July.

Newly found bacteria fights climate change, soil pollutants

Researchers isolated the new bacteria in Turkey Hill, a natural area stewarded by Cornell Botanic Gardens.


Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University’s ninth president, long-time Cornell Botanic Gardens supporter, dies at 93

Frank and Rosa Rhodes were decades-long donors to Cornell Botanic Gardens, helping to create the diverse outdoor spaces enjoyed by generations of Cornellians and visitors.


Class offerings help inform Cornell Cinema’s lineup

Students taking Joseph Yavitt’s Environmental Conservation course or Marvin Pritts’ Horticulture for Gardeners course will receive extra credit for attending The Garden Cinema series, co-sponsored by the Cornell Botanic Gardens.


Cornell Botanic Gardens’ faculty fellow receives inaugural faculty diversity award

Maria Cristina Garcia, the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences,  won the inaugural Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Service Through Diversity. The awards were announced by President Martha E. Pollack and Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff, following the recommendations of a selection committee that considered 33 nominees.


Our Common Home

Alice Soewito ’21, an intern with Cornell Botanic Gardens, finds nature-based solutions to address climate change at the Conference of the Parties in Madrid, Spain.

In the News

Why the Norway spruce is ‘an excellent choice’ for Rockefeller Center, but maybe not for your home

Cut and moved indoors for decoration, Norway Spruce lose their sharp needles easily if not properly cared for and are mostly middle of the road with other traits like color, fragrance, and branch rigidity for ornament support.


Eight faculty members receive Weiss teaching awards

Courtney Roby, associate professor, department of classics, and a Cornell Botanic Gardens Faculty Fellow was honored with Cornell University’s most prestigious teaching award.

New Garden

New ‘Botanic Buzzline’ trail connects people, pollinators

The Botanic Buzzline is a 380-foot-long flowering pathway initiated by students to help pollinating insects navigate fragmented green spaces. Come to the grand opening on Sept. 14.


$1.5M grant will link Dryden and Cornell trails

When the rail trail is completed, pedestrians, runners and bicyclists from the Cornell, Varna, Etna, Freeville and Dryden communities will have access to more than 20 continuous miles of non-motorized, off-street trails.

In the News

Dahlia Flower Consumer Favorite at Annual Plant Trials Program in Cornell Botanic Gardens

Cornell Botanic Gardens and the university’s horticulture section partnered to bring trials of new blooming annuals to the botanic gardens in summer 2019.

In the News

Student Stewards Help Protect Gorge Visitors

Student gorge stewards observe at least 300 visitors a day in summer, offering vital opportunities to educate visitors on safe use, rules and alternatives to illegal behavior, like swimming or leaving marked trails.


10-year study provides model for deer management strategies

New research from Cornell tested the efficacy of typical urban deer management practices in controlling over-population of deer and their impacts on ecosystems.

In the News

Nature, our Intrinsic Healer

As little as 10 to 20 minutes in nature two to three times a week can positively impact people’s mental.

In the News

Best Performers and Favorites From Cornell University’s 2019 Plant Trials

The inaugural year of plant trials at the Cornell Botanic Gardens drew thousands of visitors, hundreds of whom took the opportunity to vote on their favorites of the approximately 150 cultivars trialed in in-ground beds.

In the News

The Loss of Ash Trees Could Change History

The Cornell Botanic Garden exhibit “Ash Trees: A Story of Relationships, Loss and Hope” delves into the effects of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer in North America. Because of the beetle, ash trees have been dying at rapid rates and as a result Indigenous tribes’ traditions could also disappear.

In the News

New Cayuga language class focuses on nature, culture

Cornell Botanic Gardens hosts a traditional Cayuga garden planted from heirloom seeds from the Cayuga Lake region

In the News

State of the Art

Take a photographic tour of Cornell’s sculptures featuring four within our gardens and arboretum in this article written for the Cornell Alumni Magazine.

In the News

Inaugural Course on Cayuga Language and Culture Starts This Fall

A heritage garden planted at Cornell Botanic Gardens will be used to educate about the relationship of language and culture to plants.

In the News

Stepping It Up: ‘Stewards’ help make Ithaca’s gorges safer for all

Gorge stewards patrol the trails in Cornell Botanic Gardens’ most-popular natural areas, educating the public about potential dangers and acting as friendly ambassadors.

In the News

Bailee Hopkins- Hensley ’18, MPS ’19: Connecting people to plants

Bailee Hopkins-Hensley is passionate about exploring the connections that humans have to plants—especially the connections that indigenous communities have to the species that sustain them. Hopkins-Hensley, who earned her MPS in Public Garden Management in May 2019, is mounting an exhibit to showcase the relationships that ash trees have with the world around them at the Nevin Welcome Center of Cornell Botanic Gardens.

In the News

Dryden Rail Trail project gets $1.5 million award

Ithaca Voice—April 25, 2019: When completed, the Dryden Rail Trail will connect three of Cornell Botanic Gardens’ natural areas, across 16 miles apart, and span Tompkins County.

In the News

Ithaca Is . . . Summer!

Cornell Alumni Magazine offers ‘161 Things’ to do when the weather’s warm—on the Hill and beyond. From “marveling at the blooms,” to resting under the pergola in the F.R. Newman Arboretum, to strolling around Beebe Lake, Cornell Botanic Gardens makes the list four times.

In the News

5 Charming Vacation Spots on the East Coast You Need to Visit

Best Travel Tale and—April 18, 2019

In the News

Science, diversity celebrated at CALS Day

Cornell Chronicle–May 1, 2019
The celebration showcased college programs with impacts in communities both locally and around the world, including Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Dryden rail trail task force awarded $1.5M

Cortland Standard—April 25, 2019

The money will be used to build a pedestrian bridge over Route 13 near the Route 366 intersection, said Todd Bittner, the lead grant writer for the task force and natural areas director at Cornell Botanic Gardens. Once the entire trail is done, it will be a 10.5-mile path for cycling, running and walking, and will connect three of Cornell Botanic Gardens’ natural areas.

Director Christopher Dunn on the power of plants

Center for Plant Conservation—October 29, 2018
Our director talks to the Center for Plant Conservation. “By engaging people to see the beauty in the diversity of the plant world and of the human/cultural world, we are sowing seeds of hope. That is what will ultimately save plants.”

Botanic Buzzline Project Aims to Create Flower Pathway for Bees

Cornell Daily Sun—October 23, 2018
A flower path from the Cornell Dairy Bar to Cornell Botanic Gardens serves pollinators and people.

Ithaca NY: Do Go Chasing Waterfalls

Getaway Mavens—October 18, 2018
Travel writer Malerie Yolen-Cohen shares the joys of her two-day adventure in Cornell Botanic Gardens’ natural areas, gardens, and arboretum, along with other Finger Lakes sites.

Picnics and Sunsets

Cornell Daily Sun—October 4, 2018
A Cornell student shares how Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Todd Bittner dramatically changed her perspective. On a guided hike in Fall Creek Gorge, she learned that “ten minutes [in nature] was enough to completely change your brain chemistry.”

Water World: A look at the past, present, and future of CU’s iconic Beebe Lake

Cornell Alumni Magazine—September/October 2018
This article looks at the past, present, and future of iconic Beebe Lake and calls out its connections to culture and the university. Christopher Dunn, executive director of Cornell Botanic Gardens, and Todd Bittner, director of natural areas, contributed.

Judy’s Day Family Learning Festival — Plants have families too!

WHCU—September 27, 2018
Raylene Ludgate, youth education coordinator, gives listeners a preview of Judy’s Day and the 85 interactive learning stations that connect people and plants.

Tang Welcome Center dedicated as Cornell’s new ‘front door’

Cornell Chronicle—September 19, 2018
Cornell Botanic Gardens and its Beebe Lake natural area were acknowledged as key to creating the “perfect front door” for Cornell University.

Botanical Adventurers, with Dan Stone

WHCU—September 20, 2018
Dan Stone, author and contributor to National Geographic Magazine, talks about the botanists who traveled the world to bring variety to U.S. tables. Stone was a speaker in Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Fall Lecture series.

Day of Caring draws attention to local needs

Cornell Chronicle—September 20, 2018
The F.R. Newman Arboretum hosted Cornell’s Homecoming 5K, with proceeds benefiting the Cornell United Way Campaign.

Chef Sean Sherman discusses Indigenous Foods at Cornell Botanic Gardens lecture series

WRFI—September 4, 2018
Sean Sherman, founder/CEO of The Sioux Chef, talks to WRFI about indigenous food systems in a feature that aired in advance of his lecture as part of the Fall Lecture Series.

Painting on a living canvas: Summer internship reveals creative beauty at Cornell Botanic Gardens

CornellCALS—September 4, 2018
Alex Schaef ’20, describes his summer internship at Cornell Botanic Gardens and how it inspired him to create art daily and potentially as his career.

In the News

25 Best Upstate New York Day Trips

Cornell Botanic Gardens and its Cascadilla Gorge trail are noted in this listing of top day trips in New York State.

The Discovery Trail — Examining wildflowers at the Cornell Botanic Gardens

Tompkins Weekly—August 27, 2018
Raylene Ludgate, youth education coordinator, goes in-depth on the impact of Wildflower Explorations, Cornell Botanic Gardens’ educational program for area third graders.

Cornell plans response against emerald ash borer

Cornell Chronicle—May 21, 2018, Staff at Cornell Botanic Gardens and Facilities and Campus Services are collaborating with faculty and students to address inevitable loss of trees.  article.

Climate Change Garden featured on The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel—August 16, 2017
Sonja Skelly of Cornell Botanic Gardens, was interviewed about the striking discoveries being made in the Climate Change Garden.

Cornell Botanic Gardens featured in The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor—August 15, 2017
Our Climate Change Garden is featured in this story “Sowing common ground: Botanical gardens tell the story of climate change.”

The New York Times Discovers Cornell Botanic Gardens

The New York Times—June 8, 2017
In its “36 Hours in the Finger Lakes” travel feature, The New York Times made Cornell Botanic Gardens its first stop, calling it a “treat in early summer.”

New to campus? Discover Cornell’s rich history

Cornell Chronicle article on Cornell’s history that includes Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Cornell Botanic Gardens receives grant to conserve, research hemlock

Cornell Chronicle—October 20, 2017, Cornell Botanic Gardens received a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to continue and expand its work to conserve hemlock trees that are foundational to the university’s campus and natural areas.