Cornell Botanic Gardens, Ithaca

4.8
#3 of 12 in Parks in Ithaca
The Cornell Botanic Gardens, formerly known as the Cornell Plantations, is a botanical garden located adjacent to the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. The Botanic Gardens proper consist of 25acre of botanical gardens and 150acre of the F.R. Newman Arboretum. The greater Botanic Gardens includes 40 different nature areas around Cornell and Ithaca, covering 4300acre.
The origin of the Botanic Gardens dates back to Cornell's beginning in the mid-19th century and are part of the university's longtime interest in agriculture, forestry, and the natural sciences. The Botanic Gardens saw a major planting effort during the 1930s and assumed the name "Cornell Plantations" in 1944. Gardens and facilities have continually expanded, including a construction program at the start of the 21st century. The Botanic Gardens also maintains four gardens on Cornell's central campus. The Botanic Gardens offers three courses for academic credit, are used as a resource by other classes, host a number of informal lectures and tours, and have played a part in many scholarly papers., the Botanic Gardens had a $2.9 million annual operating budget.
The gardens specialize in trees and shrubs native to New York State. The themed herb garden is especially noted. The Botanic Gardens have been the subject of several books and films over the years, are open daily without charge, and have been recommended as a visitation site by a number of travel books and newspaper travel sections.
Prior to the founding of Cornell University, Ezra Cornell had a large farm on the East Hill above Ithaca, New York. As part of locating New York State's land-grant college in Ithaca, Cornell offered to donate the farm for use as a campus. In 1862, Cornell's first president, Andrew Dickson White, wrote a colleague that a great university should include a botanical garden: “It must have the best of Libraries – collections in different departments – Laboratory – Observatory – Botanical Garden perhaps…” At the university's opening ceremony in 1868, Louis Agassiz, an internationally known naturalist, remarked that no other area could compete with Cornell's surroundings in the opportunities offered for the study of natural history. From its inception, Cornell formed a reputation for creative means of research into the natural sciences, including the establishment of the pioneering College of Agriculture.
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Cornell Botanic Gardens Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
312 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • It was a beautiful day that my grand daughter and I stopped as an added adventure while in NY area. It was peaceful and she was able to get many photos of the blooms and scenery.  more »
  • Getting to the garden was challenging due to road construction. Once there I really wanted to stay forever. While it isn’t the largest garden I have been to, it had a vast array of native plants and s...  more »
Google
  • Lots of nice beautiful flora. Took a stroll through here last spring and loved it. I plan to take another walk this spring. As expected, not much to look at during the eternal winter of Ithaca though.
  • Usually awesome, but this time it was the middle of winter and slushing like crazy and I had mucked all the way up there just to use the bathroom and get a beverage, a snack and keep warm while my friend was getting chemo at the animal hospital... But quite sadly the posted hours were incorrect. Very disappointing.
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