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

In the News

Would you give up your lawn for an easier, environmentally friendly option? Here’s how it could look

WXXI News – October 4, 2023

Learn more about the benefits of a native lawn by listening to this five-minute interview with Natural Areas Director Todd Bittner.

In the News

Native lawns that only need to be mowed twice a year

WCBS 880 All Local — September 18, 2023

Want to help the environment and tend a low-maintenance yard? According to Todd Bittner, our Director of Natural Areas, a native lawn might be for you.

In the News

Peep These Leaves

Ithaca Times — September 14, 2023
Daniel Weitoish, our lead arborist, shares the science behind the color of fall leaves.

In the News

Managing invasive species: Woolly adelgids and the Hemlock Initiative

Tompkins Weekly — September 13, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens is featured for our efforts to combat the invasive hemlock wooly adelgid and conserve our local forests.

In the News

A Viable Alternative to Conventional Lawn? Cornell May Have Found One.

New York Times – September 13, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens’ native lawn was featured in the New York Times as a viable alternative to conventional lawns and an action every homeowner can take to address the climate crisis and give nature a helping hand.

In the News

Akwe:kon Garden Hopes to Heal and Honor Indigenous Students

Cornell Daily Sun— August 31, 2023

A new garden developed in collaboration with Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Learning by Leading program, offers Indigenous students a place for healing and belonging.


In the News

How to properly maintain your garden when heat rises

News 8 WROC  — July 27, 2023

Director of Horticulture Emily Detrick shares the secrets for caring for plants in hot weather.

In the News

Wilt no more: Local horticulture expert shares tips on proper watering amid scorching heat

CNY Central — July 26, 2023

Director of Horticulture Emily Detrick explains how to best care for your garden as temperatures rise.

In the News

Summer Fun Fridays: Inside Cornell Botanic Gardens

WENY News — July 21, 2023

The Cornell Botanic Gardens was featured for our abundance of flowers, pollinators, birds, and beautiful natural scenery.

In the News

Don Rakow Retires after 38 Years of Service to Public Gardens

American Public Gardens Association— July 5, 2023

Don Rakow, former executive director of the Cornell Botanic Gardens, is honored for his extensive impact on the field of public gardening.

In the News

CCE plans educational programs

Eagle News Online — June 9, 2023

Natural Areas Horticulturalist Krissy Boys will present on natural shorescaping, planting strategies, and natural shoreline management.

In the News

NY firefighters helping battle wildfires in Canada

Fox 5 New York — June 8, 2023

Todd Bittner, Director of Natural Areas, is interviewed about wildfire causes and prevention.

In the News

How Cornell protects its ash trees from the emerald ash borer

The Ithaca Voice — June 1, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens aids in the effort to protect and conserve Cornell’s treasured ash trees.

In the News

New York on a Budget: Free and Low Cost Things to Do in the Finger Lakes

I Love New York — May 26, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens is highlighted as a “must-visit destination for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts.”

In the News

Arborjet | Ecologel To Visit Cornell University To Treat Historic Ash Trees

Turf Magazine — May 26, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens work alongside Arborjet | Ecologel and university staff to treat historic ash trees as part of the Saving America’s Iconic Trees project.

In the News

14 Things To Do In Finger Lakes: Complete Guide To New York’s Scenic Region

The Travel — May 23, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens is featured as one of the best places to visit in the Finger Lakes.

In the News

Collaboration Brings Healing, Honoring Garden to Akwe:Kon

Morning Ag Clips — May 18, 2023

Our Learning by Leading team and Indigenous students from the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program bring a medicinal garden to life.

In the News

National Public Gardens Week

Westside News — May 15, 2023

During National Public Gardens Week, Cornell Botanic Gardens was highlighted as a place that inspires and encourages visitors to learn about plants and gardening methods.

In the News

Varying Global Responses to Climate Change Discussed in Botanic Gardens Event

The Cornell Daily Sun — April 24, 2023

On April 18, environmental experts discussed the global dimensions of climate change as part of Verdant Views, a Cornell Botanic Gardens webinar series.

In the News

Flat Rock Bridge: Meeting place, a legacy

Tompkins Weekly — April 19, 2023

The Cornell student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers renovates the Fall Creek pedestrian bridge.

In the News

A Toast To The Finger Lakes: Exploring 10 Of Wine Country’s Best-Kept Secrets

The Travel — April 3, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens scores a spot on the list of the 10 places everyone should visit in the Finger Lakes.

In the News

Must-visit cherry blossom, lilac, and other spring flower festivals in Upstate NY

New York Upstate — March 29, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens is highlighted for its diverse array of flowering trees.

In the News

Finger Lakes Adventure: Exploring The 10 Best Outdoor Activities & Attractions

The Travel — March 18, 2023

Cornell Botanic Gardens is listed as a must-visit stop for any Finger Lakes trip.

In the News

A healing garden for student health

A new garden designed and installed by Cornell students brings the healing power of nature to Cornell Health.


Repairs to Flat Rock Bridge span two generations

A newly restored footbridge over Fall Creek serves as the most direct access point for more than 20 miles of Cornell Botanic Gardens trails and is used by 35,000 visitors a year.

In the News

International collaboration strengthens conservation actions for threatened plants

Taiwan News—March 22, 2023
Christopher Dunn and other directors and representatives of nationally important botanical gardens spoke at the international symposium “Plant Ark: 2023 Taiwan Botanical Garden Conservation Action” in Taipei.

In the News

Finger Lakes Retreat: 10 Towns To Relax & Recharge In Scenic Surroundings

The Travel — March 16, 2023

The Travel describes Cornell Botanic Garden’s bioswale garden as a place where “nature lovers find their heaven,” and cites our diverse collection of plant species.

In the News

The World’s Most Breathtaking College Campuses

Cheapism — August 8, 2022

Cornell was ranked among the world’s most beautiful campuses for our abundance of gardens, hiking trails, and natural areas.

In the News

How green is your Pinterest-perfect plant collection?

CNN Style-September 1, 2022
Missy Bidwell, greenhouse manager, discusses the substantial inputs required to grow and transport indoor foliage plants and offers solid advice on sustainable practices for plant keeping.


Dinners explore intersection of plant history, cuisine

Cornell Botanic Gardens presents our “Seeds of Survival and Celebration: Plants and the Black Experience” exhibit as part of an initiative with Cornell Dining to share the traditional dishes of the African Diaspora.

Summer interns explore Ithaca’s natural areas

Cornell Moments (Cornell University YouTube)—July 18, 2022

Students in Cornell Botanic Gardens’ engaged-learning programs learn about the ecology of Upstate New York bogs in an outing led by Botanic Gardens’ Field Botanist Robert Wesley. The Learning by Leading program cultivates a new generation of environmental leaders through stewardship, co-creation, and sense of place.

How to cultivate a green thumb

New York Times—June 24, 2022

Missy Bidwell, horticulturist and greenhouse manager, shares expert advice on success with both indoor and outdoor plants, including the wisdom that there aren’t “mistakes” in plant care. “You didn’t make any mistakes,” she said. “You just learned something new about a plant. I’m always tweaking my garden, because I still haven’t gotten it right.”

The Yarb Woman

Snacks (Alumni Affairs and Development news)—June 22, 2022

The Yarb Woman sculpture by Elfriede Abbe ’40 is featured with a photo and description. The sculpture is displayed in the Robison York State Herb Garden.

Another stop on the discovery trail this summer

WHCU-Radio—June 17, 2022

Esther Racoosin, youth educator, talks about the Wildflower Explorations Program that brings hundreds of area third graders to the Mundy Wildflower Garden each spring for hands-on interaction with and learning about native wildflowers.

Alumni Diversity Leaders at Cornell Botanic Gardens

Snacks (Alumni Affairs and Development news)—June 16, 2022

During Reunion 2022, Matt Palumbo ’83, president of the Cornell Asian Alumni Association, coordinated a meeting with fellow alumni diversity leaders to set preliminary plans to engage more diverse alumni with the botanic gardens.

How to make the most of your Cornell summer

Medium (Cornell University)—June 16, 2022

Cornell Botanic Gardens is featured in this post and accompanying video produced by University Relations. The video and article were elevated on the university’s Instagram and Twitter feeds.

This Arbor Day, show the trees some love

Medium (Cornell University)—April 28, 2022

In this Arbor Day post by University Relations, Todd Bittner, director of natural areas, highlights the critical role of trees as a foundation of the food web. “An oak tree, for example, supports over 4,000 species of insects and animals,” he says.

How to climate-proof your garden

Sierra magazine—April 25, 2022

Sonja Skelly, director of education, talks about Climate Change Demonstration Garden. It was established in 2014 “to use plants as the lens to help tell the story of climate change,” she tells the magazine of the Sierra Club. The garden also serves as a way to show the public that climate change isn’t an abstract phenomenon happening elsewhere in the world—it is happening here as well.

A Cacti Expert’s Vast L.A. Garden Is a Drought-Tolerant Wonder

Cornellians (Alumni Affairs and Development news)

Park Nobel ’60, BEP ’61, supporter of Cornell Botanic Gardens’ planned Asian Summer Garden, is profiled, along with his 1.6-acre garden of succulent plants in Los Angeles.

In the News

Gillibrand secures $700K in federal funding for Dryden Rail Trail Bridge project

Ithaca Voice – May 6, 2022
When completed, the trail will connect three of Cornell Botanic Gardens natural areas across 16 miles and provide a safe, sustainable commuter route.


Trading coal cars for e-bikes, rail trail promotes sustainability

Cornell Chronicle – November 17, 2021

A trail that once brought coal now brings commuters on e-bikes: Dryden Rail Trail

In the News

25 Best Upstate New York Day Trips

VacationIdea – Novemeber 30, 2021

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

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

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

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

Cornell town-gown, gardens’ power

Tompkins Weekly – July 21, 2021

Tompkins Weekly gives a complete overview of the gardens in light of the upcoming partnership with the Tompkins County Public Library on August 6th, including descriptions of when Cornell Botanic Gardens was founded, its recent accomplishments, and its mission and goals.

In The News

Cornell Professor Engineers Radar Tools to Monitor Space Weather

New York Ag Connection – July 15, 2021

The Zeman Lab Radar, a new radar to be used to monitor space weather, will be installed in Cornell Botanic Gardens.

In The News

Hydrangea Talk Is Sunday At Highfield Hall

The Enterprise – July 14, 2021

“Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Hydrangeas but were afraid to ask!”, a talk about the many varieties of hydrangea and their special characteristics, will be given by Barbara Conolly at Highfield Hall & Gardens on July 18th.

In The News

Beat the summer heat and explore Ithaca’s natural beauty – July 8, 2021

Cornell Botanic Gardens is mentioned as one of the best places in Ithaca to visit in the summer and enjoy its natural beauty.

In The News

Dryden board invites input on Rail Trail bridge design

Cortland Standard – June 24, 2021

The town of Dryden is planning a public information session for people to check out the Dryden Rail Trail project’s design, which includes passage through the wetlands area that is part of Cornell Botanic Gardens.

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

2021 Cornell Floriculture Field Day

Perishable News – June 10, 2021

The Cornell Floriculture Field Day is an informal outdoor event that will be held July 28th. The day will consist of morning viewing of annual flower & foliage trials, tours of Cornell Botanic Gardens, education stations, displays, and networking.

In The News

Splendor in the Grass

Cornell Alumni Magazine – May/June 2021

A collection of photos of the gardens in Cornell Botanic Gardens for the Alumni Magazine.

In The News

Cornell Highlights Gorge Safety and Trail Closures

New York Ag Connection – May 19, 2021

Todd Bittner, director of natural areas for Cornell Botanic Gardens, is quoted discussing the safety regulations for hikers around the gorges and trails.

In The News

Botanical gardens, arboretums to explore in New York State

Newsday – May 6, 2021

Cornell Botanic Gardens is mentioned as one of the best botanical gardens with an arboretum to visit in New York State.

In the News

Cornell Botanic Gardens Plant Hope in the Cornell Community

Cornell Daily Sun – March 25, 2021

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

Sustainability Efforts Shine with New Solar Collectors

Cornell Chronicle – April 1, 2021

Cornell Botanic Gardens is mentioned as one of the only sites with solar thermal energy on the Ithaca campus.

In The News

Creating a Native Lawn

Growing Greener – March 24, 2021

Krissy Boys, native plant specialist and curator of the Mundy Wildflower Garden, talks to the Growing Greener podcast about using native, naturally compact grasses and perennial flowers to create a “native lawn” that needs no fertilization or watering once established, and requires mowing just once or twice a summer.

In The News

Cornell wishes Town of Ithaca a happy 200th

Cornell Chronicle –  March 11, 2021

Cornell Botanic Gardens is mentioned as one of the university’s important campus resources located in the town of Ithaca.

In the News

Students Flock Outdoors for Wellness Days as Spring Blossoms at Cornell

Cornell Daily Sun – March 12, 2021

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

Rose Buzz-Reconnecting with land and nature

Rose Buzz—March 3, 2021

Flora Rose House Podcast with guests Todd Bittner and Andy Zepp reflecting on their careers and discussing the connections to the land and natural areas of the Finger Lakes region.

In The News

Author to speak on African Americans’ relationship with the outdoors

Cornell Chronicle – February 11, 2021

Dr. Carolyn Finney will be giving the Class of 1945 Lecture, part of Cornell Botanic Gardens Lecture Series. Her talk will explore this moment of racial reckoning and the creative responses to environmental and social challenges that are emerging.

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 to fell more than 1,700 ash trees infested by beetle

Associated Press – January 5, 2021

Todd Bittner, director of natural areas for Cornell Botanic Gardens, is quoted discussing the decline of ash trees in Ithaca due to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer.

News Archive

Browse our news highlights from past years.

In the News Archive, 2020

News highlights from 2020

In the News Archive, 2019

News highlights from 2019

In the News Archive, 2018 – 2017

News highlights from 2018 and 2017