Cornell Botanic Gardens’ pocket guide puts top sites in your palm

Cornell Botanic Gardens palm-sized Pocket Guide is distributed at the Nevin Welcome Center and other sites on campus. View online version.

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Cornell Botanic Gardens’ pocket guide puts top sites in your palm

A new pocket guide makes it easy to explore Cornell Botanic Gardens—both the areas close to the Nevin Welcome Center and its ranging 3,800 acres of natural areas, arboretum, and gardens. It is one component of a multi-media, visitor-experience package designed for both a digital-friendly generation of visitors and those who are more comfortable with print media. Their purpose is to make Cornell Botanic Gardens, its plant collections, and its trails and natural areas more accessible to everyone.

The new visitor-experience package was funded by Robert ’55, MBA ’57 and Vanne Cowie ‘57, decades-long advocates for a “foot-friendly” campus, with accessible trails and paths connecting Cornell’s iconic outdoor features and natural beauty. Inspired by golden moments in the F.R. Newman Arboretum and the magic of gazing on tumbling water in Fall Creek Gorge below the Suspension Bridge, the family backed the first comprehensive guide to the natural history of the “gardens, gorges, landscapes, and lore” of Cornell Botanic Gardens.

The “Path Guide,” first published in 1995, was revised and expanded in 2002. The print, spiral-bound book highlighted the natural history, plant life, and other features of the interconnected Path System of walking routes throughout Cornell Botanic Gardens and the Cornell campus.

As digital formats evolved, the information in the Path Guide transitioned from print to Cornell Botanic Gardens website and other digital platforms that could be efficiently updated and enhanced. The latest improvements to the former Path Guide and walking routes include:

  • Path Signs—all nine of the original signs along the foot paths were updated to include detailed maps of walking routes, nearby natural features, and to promote use of a companion app on mobile devices.
  • Pocketsights Tour Guide—rather than carrying a large, printed Path Guide, visitors now access a free smart phone app with maps for each walking route and tours from the original guide.
  • Pocket Guide—this palm-sized leaflet guides visitors to the most centrally located gardens, arboretum, gorges, and natural areas, and includes QR codes to access detailed information on all on- and off-campus natural areas on the Cornell Botanic Gardens website.
  • Signs at the entry points to each walking path making visitors aware of the  Pocketsights Tour Guide

“Our hope then and now is that the print and digital guides will help all who want to learn about the natural history and beauty of the living museum that is Cornell Botanic Gardens may do so with greater ease and enjoyment,” said Bob Cowie.

The Pocket Guide is available at the Nevin Welcome Center and online.  Pocketsights tours of suggested walking tours to explore Cornell Botanic Gardens’ many features on the Cornell campus are accessed by downloading the free smart phone app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Search “Pocketsights Tour Guide.”

Hours for the Nevin Welcome Center vary by season. Check Cornell Botanic Gardens’ website for current information.

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