Nevin Welcome Center
124 Comstock Knoll Drive
Cornell Botanic Gardens is responsible for the natural beauty of the Cornell University campus. It curates and stewards cultivated gardens; an arboretum; and natural areas. Together these areas comprise one-third of the Ithaca, New York, campus, and with off-campus natural areas, a total of 3,600 acres. Our mission is to inspire people - through cultivation, conservation, and education - to understand, appreciate, and nurture plants and the cultures they sustain. The world demands that we engage with communities and peoples to save plants and habitats. Our team is committed to raising awareness, motivating action, and sowing messages of hope.
Our natural and cultivated landscapes and living plant collections are expertly tended by professionals, and along with educational programs, support learning opportunities for students and visitors of all ages.
- The 35-acre cultivated gardens surrounding the Nevin Welcome Center include specialty gardens of herbs, flowers, vegetables, perennials, ornamental grasses, groundcovers, and rhododendrons, among others.
The 100-acre F.R. Newman Arboretum is home to collections of nut trees, crabapples, maples, urban trees, and shrubs. Its rolling hills and valleys were carved by Fall Creek following the retreat of the last glaciers more than 10,000 years ago. Today, the arboretum offers a pastoral setting and panoramic views, amidst a living museum of trees, shrubs, and woodland plants.
The most beloved natural areas on and around the Cornell campus are stewarded by the Cornell Botanic Gardens. These include the Cascadilla and Fall Creek Gorges, Beebe Lake, and additional off-campus natural areas which include 32 miles of public trails. In addition to stewarding these treasures for the enjoyment of the public, the Botanic Gardens protects rare and endangered native plants and collaborates with scientists in many domains of research and conservancy.
Cornell Botanic Gardens staff teach several for-credit courses:
- PLHRT 2010, Art of Horticulture
- PLHRT 2350, Food, fiber, fulfillment: Plants and human-well being
- PLHRT 4400, Restoration Ecology
- PLSCI 4825, Museum and Park Interpretation
- PLHRT 4970, Independent Studies, are available to students wishing to gain hands-on experience working and learning alongside botanic gardens staff.
Noncredit classes and workshops such as botanical illustration, wellness programs, gardening techniques, and tours are also offered, visit the Learn page on our website, or call (607) 255-2400 for more information.
We are engaged in numerous research efforts to conserve plants and the cultures they sustain. Our staff work with faculty, students, and botanic gardens around the world to facilitate research on plants and the natural world. To learn more and apply to conduct research at Cornell Botanic Gardens, visit our Research page.
Learning by Leading and Internships
Learning by Leading (LxL) is a student leadership development program that provides authentic experiential learning and growth opportunities for Cornell students while interfacing with a diverse range of audiences, collaborators, and mentors. The LxL program is a network of student-led teams —directly supported and mentored by Botanic Gardens’ staff —that are passionate about environmental issues, skilled in collaboration and communication, and eager to learn how to adapt to and overcome challenges. Student leaders are hired for part-time during the academic school year and full-time over the summer. Visit our Learning by Leading page on our website for details.
Since the 1990s, more than 170 Cornell University students have worked side by side with Cornell Botanic Gardens’ knowledgeable staff, learning and having fun as participants in our summer internship program. Positions in horticulture, natural areas stewardship, education and communications/marketing are available each year, beginning after finals in May. All positions build on classroom learning through hands-on work while encouraging students’ interests in horticulture, outreach and the natural world. Visit the Internship page on our website for details.
Cornell Botanic Gardens offers a one-year Master of Professional Studies degree in Public Garden Leadership in partnership with the Section of Horticulture in the School of Integrated Plant Sciences. Visit the Graduate Study webpage.
Planning a Visit
To discover and explore Cornell Botanic Gardens, visit cornellbotanicgardens.org and stop by our Nevin Welcome Center located at 124 Comstock Knoll Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850.