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Ithaca-Geneva shuttle bus update

From Gemma Osbourne gro2@cornell.edu

Starting today we have increased the size of the Ithaca/Geneva shuttle service to a 21 passenger bus to accommodate the summer students. The schedule will remain the same. I have attached the schedule for your reference. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

View bus schedule, map of pick-up locations.

At this time, there is no cost to riders from the Cornell community.

‘Urban Eden’ students transform ILR courtyard

Click image for larger view.

Click images for larger view.

Nina Bassuk (second from right) supervises students planting trees, shrubs and groundcovers in the ILR courtyard. (Left to right, Paul Elfers, Rochelle Brahalla, Delia Bolster, Victoria Kraft, Bassuk and Mike Voelkel.)

Nina Bassuk (second from right) supervises students planting trees, shrubs and groundcovers in the ILR courtyard. (Left to right, Paul Elfers, Rochelle Brahalla, Delia Bolster, Victoria Kraft, Bassuk and Mike Voelkel.)

See also Cornell Chronicle version [5/10/2012]

Every year since 2001, students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920) have taken on real world projects, designing and installing gardens on campus each spring. This year’s primary project was particularly challenging – a total makeover of the courtyard at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR).

“It’s by far the biggest project we’ve ever taken on,” says Nina Bassuk, director of the Urban Horticulture Institute in the Department of Horticulture, who co-teaches the course with Peter Trowbridge, chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture. This year’s class also revamped the landscaping outside the Computing & Communications Center on the Ag Quad

At the ILR courtyard, Urban Eden students had to cope with a demanding site that included compacted soils and buildings on all sides. “It’s an extreme microclimate, particularly with the heat reflecting off the wall on the north side of the courtyard,” notes Bassuk. “But these conditions are typical of what the students will face when they design landscapes for urban settings.”

The courtyard’s warmer microclimate allowed the students to use plants that wouldn’t normally survive winters elsewhere on campus. (See plant list below.) That will make it possible for Bassuk and Trowbridge to teach about landscape plants usually only found in warmer climes. The planting even includes a hardy banana (Musa basjoo).

Alyson Fletcher and Victoria Kraft haul balled and burlapped shrubs to planting beds.

Alyson Fletcher and Victoria Kraft (foreground) haul balled and burlapped shrubs to planting beds.

Bassuk and Trowbridge kick off the annual design and installation process in summer when they meet with the Grounds Department to identify locations that need a makeover. During the fall semester, Urban Eden students learn site assessment theory in class, but then apply it to the site where they’ll be working. They test drainage, pH and other soil properties, observe how much sun different parts of the site receive and create a site map.

“Then each student creates a design plan for the site and presents their plan to the class,” says Bassuk. “The class votes on which plan they think will work, and the elements of the best plans are folded into one unified design.”

After a reality check of the plan with the Grounds Department and other stakeholders, students begin preparing the site for planting as soon as the weather breaks in spring. “It took some serious soil preparation and organic matter amendments to relieve compaction problems on the ILR site,” notes Bassuk. That included incorporating hundreds of yards of compost and spreading 175 yards of topsoil. Students also used coarse sand to create a beach-like environment for some plants that require especially well-drained soil, and imported acidic soil so they could plant acid-loving plants along the south and west walls.

After planting nearly 900 trees, shrubs and groundcovers, students tucked them in with 40 yards of mulch and rolled out 6,500 square feet of sod under the tutelage of Frank Rossi, Department of Horticulture turf specialist.

“We’ve always thought that it’s not enough to just learn about landscape plants in the classroom,” says Bassuk. “Our students have to learn how to do things. When they’re out there in management positions and creating designs, they have to know what it takes – and how it feels – to turn their plans into reality.”


‘Zone Creep’ in the ILR courtyard

Some of the plants Urban Eden students matched to the conditions of the ILR courtyard aren’t considered to be winter hardy at most locations on the Cornell University campus. (List below.) “Most sites here are USDA Hardiness Zone 5b,” says Nina Bassuk. “The courtyard is at least Zone 6b and possibly 7a – conditions more commonly found on Long Island or in New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania and Maryland.”

  • Abelia x grandiflora ‘Rose Creek’ (Glossy Abelia)
  • Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese Cedar)
  • Fargesia robusta ‘Green Screen’ (Clumping Bamboo)
  • Genista lydia ‘Bangle’ (Lydia Broom)
  • Juniperus conferta (Shore Juniper)
  • Lagerstroemia ‘Pink Velor’ and ‘Sarah’s Favorite’ (Crape Myrtle)
  • Mahonia bealei (Leatherleaf Mahonia)
  • Musa basjoo (Hardy Banana)
  • Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo)
  • Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo Grass)
  • Parthenocissus henryana (Silvervein Creeper)
  • Pinus thunbergiana (Japanese Black Pine)
  • Pinus wallachiana (Himalayan Pine)
  • Prunus laurocerasus (Common Cherry Laurel)
  • Rubus cockburnianus (White-Stemmed Bramble)
  • Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis (Sweetbox)
  • Skimmia japonica (Japanese Skimmia)
Dylan Davis and Mike Voelkel plant shrubs along the west wall of the ILR courtyard.

Dylan Davis and Mike Voelkel plant shrubs along the west wall of the ILR courtyard.

Heat-loving species plants in the courtyard included this hardy banana.

Heat-loving species plants in the courtyard included this hardy banana.

Filios recognized as Outstanding TA

Cheni Filos

Cheni Filos

From Frank Rossi:

Polyxeni (Cheni) Filios was recognized as an Outstanding Teaching Assistant in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at an award ceremony on Wednesday May 9, 2012. Filios was nominated by Professors Bill Miller and Frank Rossi for her work in Production and Marketing of Greenhouse Crops (HORT 3100) and Horticultural Science and Systems (HORT 1101).

In presenting her the award, Rossi conveyed comments from Miller stating, “Cheni proactively developed a series of nutrient deficiencies in the test plants that gave a living, visual opportunity for the students to see real nutrient problems. In fact, she directed two undergraduates in this project, thus extending her influence as a TA, and giving excellent learning experiences to undergraduate assistants.

“She also was directly involved in planning out three-day field trip to Canada. She had previously visited many greenhouses in the Niagara peninsula of Ontario, and has valuable opinions on who to visit, what would be pros and cons of various stops, etc. Finally, she did both professor and students a great service by conceiving a clearer and more interesting approach to the final writing assignment related to the trip.”

Rossi supported Cheni’s Award by expressing “how much the students enjoyed learning from Cheni, especially her easy rapport with them. Students commented how they appreciated her lectures that made learning horticulture more fun. Cheni went above and beyond the duties of TA’ing with her willingness to meet with students and discuss their writing assignments. Finally, as part of the TA assignment, Cheni was required to prepare food as part of the ‘crop of the week’ aspect of the course. Her culinary expertise was always a topic of conversation in class further reinforcing the educational objectives of the course.

“Cheni’s work ethic, creativity and rapport with the students represents the best of teaching assistants in the Department.”

Congratulations Cheni!

Filios (left) working with students in Horticultural Science and Systems class.

Filios (left) working with students in Horticultural Science and Systems class.

Congratulations award-winning undergrads!

Hanna Rosner-Katz, Madeline Olberg, DeAnna D’Attilio, Chelsea VanAcker, Xiaoyun “Janet” Gong, Lori Moshman, Michael Basedow, Jonathan Flickinger, Ross Hathaway. Not pictured: Alexander Traven

Hanna Rosner-Katz, Madeline Olberg, DeAnna D’Attilio, Chelsea VanAcker, Xiaoyun “Janet” Gong, Lori Moshman, Michael Basedow, Jonathan Flickinger, Ross Hathaway. Not pictured: Alex Traven

Chair Marvin Pritts recognized some of our most talented undergrads at an informal reception May 8. Award recipients included:

Congratulations!

More information about the awards and their sponsors.

Rossi receives environmental communicator award

Cindy Code, director of Project Evergreen, presents Frank Rossi with environmental communicator award.

Cindy Code, director of Project Evergreen, presents Frank Rossi with environmental communicator award.

From Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) news release:

Frank Rossi, associate professor and extension turfgrass specialist in the Department of Horticulture, has been named the 2012 TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year. The program is sponsored by Project EverGreen.

Dr. Rossi is a contributor to TurfNetTV, providing regular video segments, and writes the “Frankly Speaking” blog on TurfNet.com. He also is a regular speaker at major conferences on environmental issues throughout the year.

Dr. Rossi is the 14th recipient of this award, which selects a Green Industry communicator for “outstanding efforts in communicating the benefits of environmental stewardship to a particular audience within the turf and ornamental industry.”

“Dr. Rossi exemplifies the type of environmental communicator we recognize with this award,” said Den Gardner, TOCA executive director. “His writing, video work, ongoing research at Bethpage State Park golf courses and his speaking engagements at turf conferences across the country are a testament to his concern for stewardship of turfgrass and speak to his dedication to the industry and the environment.”

Rossi acknowledged the honor to be chosen as the TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year and join such an accomplished group of previous winners. “I have spent the last 22 years of my career committed to a singular purpose: preserving the environment,” he said. “All my presentations and hundreds of articles are designed to challenge, motivate and encourage change in management based on scientific research that will preserve and protect environmental quality.”

Dr. Rossi was honored at the 23nd annual TOCA meeting, held in Nashville, TN, May 2-4.

Seminar video: Uncorking the past

If you missed Patrick McGovern’s seminar last week, Uncorking the Past: The Archaeological and Chemical Hunt for the Origins of Viniculture, it’s available online.

In the news

New raspberries Double Gold (top) and Crimson Night

New raspberries Double Gold (top) and Crimson Night

Cornell releases two new raspberry varieties [Cornell Chronicle 4/30/2012] – Double Gold and Crimson Night from Courtney Weber‘s berry breeding program offer small-scale growers and home gardeners showy, flavorful raspberries on vigorous, disease resistant plants.

With agroforestry, woodlands can also yield crops such as mushrooms, leeks – [Associated Press 4/24/2012] – The combination of those products with timber “is a real winner,” said Kenneth Mudge, an associate professor of ornamental horticulture at Cornell University. “It’s a good way to get some early returns while waiting for your trees to grow large enough to be processed into lumber.”

Community Gathers for Opening of Educational Garden [Cornell Daily Sun 4/27/2012] – “Members of the Cornell community gathered outside the Plant Science building Thursday for the opening of Cornell Garden-Based Learning’s first demonstration garden — a project aimed at teaching students how to grow and care for vegetable crops.” More info on the vegetable variety trial gardens.

Amanda Sims and Paola Barba Burgos

Amanda Sims and Paola Barba Burgos

American Society for Enology and Viticulture scholarships– Two Cornell graduate students – Amanda Sims (horticulture, Lakso Lab) and Paola Barba Burgos (plant breeding, Reisch Lab) were selected as national scholarship winners by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.

Alan Taylor was invited to give a talk at the Global SCI Seed Science Symposium in Basel, Switzerland on May 9, 2012. His presentation is on the movement of chemicals into seeds.

550,000 people in one greenhouse? [Cornell IT news 4/20/2012] – The titan arum webcam set up by CIT at Ken Post Lab greenhouses had more than 550,000 video plays over 4 days. “For those keeping count,” says Andy Page (CIT’s Video Collaboration Services), “that’s somewhere around 33,000 hours’ worth of actual viewing, which is about 3.8 years’ worth of time spent if being watched by just a single person.”

The next shiitake? Farmers into fungi can reap rewards [Farm and Dairy 4/17/2012] – Cornell agroforestry expert Ken Mudge thinks the exotic fungus Hericium erinaceus (lion’s mane mushroom) — cultivated by the Chinese for its medicinal benefits — could follow the lead of shiitake mushrooms and become a hit with New York farmers and foodies.

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