Botanic Gardens

With the fall season approaching, the Cornell Botanic Gardens is a wonderful local spot to witness the outdoor changes that accompany autumn. Throughout the months of October, November, and December, the Cornell Botanic Gardens will host a number of events, activities, and exhibitions available to the public. 

Drop-In Volunteer Wednesdays: Oct. 3, 10, 17, & 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. 

During the month of October, every Wednesday evening (except for Halloween) is a free drop-in volunteer night at the Cornell Botanic Gardens. These gatherings are open to the public aged 15 and older, who will have the opportunity to learn about plants and gardening from expert staff horticulturist Emily Detrick, and aid in garden upkeep and beautification. Participants should meet at the Nevin Welcome Center. Meetings are cancelled in the event of rain. 

Garden & Arboretum Hike: Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  

Led by Cornell’s Peter Davies, Ph.D., professor emeritus of plant biology and horticulture, this educational hike will tour the wondrous scenery—gardens, arboretum, woodland trails, and more—that place the Cornell Botanic Gardens atop the collegiate rankings. Participants should meet at the Nevin Welcome Center for the hike, which is of extended length and will occur rain or shine. There is a $5 suggested donation. 

Cultures & Cuisine: Food of the Ancients: Sunday, October 14 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Adults over 21 years of age are invited to the Nevin Welcome Center to learn the cultural and natural history of food staples native to indigenous peoples of Mexico, Central, and South America. Food tasting will be available, as well as unique bears crafted by Cornell Catering’s gourmet chefs. Pre-registration is required for this event. Participants must be 21 or older and possess proof of age. 

Arboretum Tour: Sunday, October 21 at 1 p.m. 

This 90-minute guided tour of the F.R. Newman Arboretum will explore its diverse arboreal offerings, ornamental garden beds, picturesque landscapes, and breathtaking fall colors. The walk will meet at the Sculpture Garden in the central arboretum area and feature moderate inclines. There is a $5 suggested donation. 

Coquille Board Botanicals: Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Presented in partnership with the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, this is a two-day workshop at the Nevin Welcome Center in which participants will learn how to create scientific illustrations on a Coquille board, a textured drawing paper that produces a shading and stippling effect. The workshop will be led by Scott Rawlins, a professor of scientific illustration and design as Arcadia University, and feature the use of a variety of coloring mediums. Pre-registration is required. 

A Palette of Plant Colors: Saturday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Open to artists of all skill levels, this workshop, led by artist Camille Doucet, will explore the gamut of colors that are possible using a limited number of tube colors. Participants will create botanical illustrations and learn how to skillfully mix pigments and use color reliably. The workshop will take place at the Nevin Welcome Center, and pre-registration is required. 

Winter Solstice Garden Tour: Friday, Dec. 21 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. 

On the night of the Winter Solstice, the Botanic Gardens welcomes the public for an examination of the plants of the Mullestein Family Winter Garden. Staff and volunteers will explain how plants survive with the winter cold, and entertain with some seasonal plant folklore. Attendees should meet in the Nevin Welcome Center, and hot wassail will be available following the tour. There is a $5 suggested donation. 

In addition to the special events listed above, the Cornell Botanic Gardens is hosting a fall lecture series that is free and open the public without pre-registration. Two lectures have already occurred, all at 7:30 p.m. in Statler Hall Auditorium, but the next available session is on Wednesday, Sept. 26: Daniel Stone, National Geographic contributing editor and author of The Food Explorer will present “Botanical Adventurers: The Men Who Roamed the Planet to Find Our Everyday Foods.”•


Freelance Reporter

Austin Lamb is a freelance reporter. He reports on news events, writes feature stories, and manages the Ithaca Times Twitter account. Austin is a 2018 LACS graduate and will attend Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2019.

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