The primary audience for our Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program is our net work of CCE educators. This page highlights established avenues for us to connect and collaborate with you on a regular basis. Check out the About tab for an additional overview of our mission, resources and team members.
See Cornell Cooperative Extension Staff Pages under Organizational Development & Accountability to find many tools of the trade including Volunteer Involvement & Policy, Risk Management, and Program Definitions & Standards under Program Planning and Development. Specialists Celeste Carmichael and Kimberly Fleming are our key contacts and collaborators especially in areas of reporting and volunteer engagement.
Program Work Teams
Regional Master Gardener Volunteer Programming
Emerging Statewide Projects
Educator and Volunteer Enrichment Offerings
About the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Team
Explore additional programs via Garden Education at Cornell
There are hundreds of Cornell e-lists. Here are the two main ones we administer. Learn more about Cornell e-lists.
Cornell Cooperative Extension staff and Cornell University campus faculty and staff are invited to join the Horticulture Diagnostic listserv. We can only accommodate paid staff. Volunteers who are active in diagnosing must work through the supervising staff member. This list has been active for many years, using the experiences of many to try to efficiently identify puzzling plant material, insects and pests that come into their offices. This effort compliments that of the Cornell Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic, the Cornell Insect Diagnostic Lab and the Bailey Hortorium. We encourage you to send digital photos and detailed description. For example, include information about where the plant or insect was found, its size, key features such as leaf and bud arrangements, for plants, or mouth-part types, for insects. Clarify the symptoms, type and extent of damage suffered as well as a brief list of what resources you have been scouring to make your diagnosis. We encourage you to respond to postings if you can help with an answer or even supply another resource the person might check into. We are strict about keeping the e-list relevant.
The objective of this listserv is to be an electronic forum for NYS garden educators to connect, share, and ask questions. This largely includes Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators and volunteers.
PWT’s are groups of faculty and staff, extension educators, and external stakeholders who collaborate to identify issues, study needs, and create educational materials. Team members design learning experiences that address issues and needs within specific content areas. There are many program work teams. Cornell Garden-Based Learning is the campus co-chair for the Sustainable Landscape – Horticulture Program Work Team.
Sustainable Landscape – Horticulture PWT fosters collaboration and communication among the CCE county and campus network of educators and program leaders to promote research-based educational approaches and environmental stewardship when creating, preserving and/or enhancing lawns, gardens and landscapes. This PWT hosts a number of activities for CCE county and campus educators and program leaders including the following:
- email news updates
- a 1-hour monthly webinar (September to May) and additional webinars (If recordings are available they are posted on our YouTube playlist.)
- a CCE Horticulture Resource Sharing Library in Cornell Box (Paid CCE educator staff contact Lori for your access)
- a horticulture track in the CCE Agriculture, Food, & Environmental System In-Service
Horticulture Track for 2016 revised 9/15 (pdf)
- additional campus events focused on linking county educators and campus experts from across the University around emerging issues related to horticulture, program planning and community engagement
See CCE MGV icon in side bar. That pages link to preparation resources like Master Gardener Volunteer manual.
Regional CCE educator work groups are meeting face-to-face regularly to discuss and coordinate programming with each other while also gaining a statewide/campus perspective. Get in touch to if you want us to become a part of a group you have established or if you want to work with us to create a group.
Regional active CCE Master Gardener Volunteer preparation is a 1-day program repeated in 5 locations across the state in late fall or winter. A yearly horticulture theme will be identified based on an emerging issue, available expertise in our CCE system and funding sources. In addition to understanding relevant horticulture content, discuss strategies for sharing content with diverse audiences and incorporating content into local program activities.
Regional core CCE Master Gardener Volunteer preparation is supported in two regional locations each year. These preparations are planned in collaboration with the host county educators. The state has been divided into eight program regions so each region can expect support every four years. The exact location in the region for training is negotiated among the educators. The rotation schedule by our community horticulture districts are the following:
- Fall 2017 Finger Lakes (Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Yates)
- Spring 2018 Capital (Fulton-Montgomery, Warren, Washington, Schoharie, Saratoga, Columbia, Greene, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady)
- Fall 2018 Northern (Clinton, Essex, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Hamilton)
- Spring 2019 Central (Cayuga, Oneida, Oswego, Herkimer, Onondaga, Cortland, Madison, Lewis)
- Fall 2019 Lower Hudson (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester)
- Spring 2020 Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk)
- Fall 2020 Southern Tier (Broome, Chemung, Tioga, Tompkins, Otsego, Schuyler, Chenango, Delaware)
- Spring 2021 Western (Allegany, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus)
NYC (New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond and the Bronx) and counties in italic have no Master Gardener Volunteer program as of 2016.
2017 Cornell Garden-Based Learning Leadership Certificate and Mini-Grant – Registration has closed for this opportunity. Please contact Fiona Doherty, email@example.com, for information about the 2018 Leadership Certificate and Mini-Grant.
Gardening in a Warming World – Currently piloting this curriculum.
Seed to Supper (S2S)- Currently piloting curriculum and implementing Engaged Cornell Grant.
Vegetable Variety Trial Gardens – Enrollment has closed for the 2017 project. Stay tuned for information about the 2018 registration.
Seed to Salad– A state-wide youth development project for CCE Educators in Spring 2017. We graciously thank Johnny’s Selected Seeds for their partnership with this project. Enrollment has closed for the 2017 project.
CCE educators can contact Lori Brewer (ljb7) to learn about these efforts.
Our Cornell Garden-Based Learning program offers professional enrichment programs for educators in New York State. Workshops are developed in collaboration with a county-based CCE educators, volunteers and partnering garden-based learning stakeholders and each is designed specifically to meet real garden-based learning program needs.
These workshops may range considerably, from two hours, to half and full-day interactive sessions including topics such as, but not limited to:
- garden-based learning principles and practices;
- ecological gardening techniques;
- advancing human, youth and community development with the garden as a springboard;
- program development, organization, and expansion;
- tips for raising funds and sustaining garden programs;
- the basics of garden design;
- compost and healthy soils;
- leading programs effectively;
- interdisciplinary connections, such as how the garden enlivens education from math and science to nature awareness and nutrition;
- integrating garden-based curricula into schools and other settings;
- and how to integrate program assessment and evaluation throughout your work.
Interested in hosting a workshop?
Our CGBL educator enrichment specialist collaborates with educators in New York State to host and facilitate workshops. Partners may include Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) County offices and the non-profits or community organizations in their communities.
Objectives for educator enrichment may include and are not limited to:
- Promoting CGBL garden-based learning resources with a positive human, youth and community development focus.
- Fostering among educators and volunteers an ability to: integrate garden education into their scope of work; help to ensure that gardens projects are successful and sustainable; and grow garden-based leadership in all regions of New York State.
- Assisting educators as they promote the garden as an avenue to growing in diverse life skills, experiences and community leadership.
- Guiding educators and volunteers as they learn about how to be most effective, adhere to their program vision, and assess whether they are reaching their program goals.
- Growing robust community partnerships, coalition building, and linkages to other programs.
To collaborate, email Fiona Doherty, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Marcia Eames-Sheavly is the Children and Youth Program Leader for Cornell Garden-Based Learning. Her primary responsibilities are to provide statewide leadership and coordination of a multidisciplinary garden-based learning extension program for children and youth educators; teach distance courses on several topics; serve as a liaison between Engaged Cornell staff and Cornell Garden-Based Learning; and integrate Extension opportunities into numerous teaching activities. She has authored many educational resources, publications, book chapters, and articles. She collaborates with others, including my Cornell Garden-Based Learning co-leader Lori Brewer, and educator enrichment specialist Fiona Doherty to: plan conferences and workshops to foster educator professional development; strengthen state and national partnerships and the research link to garden-based learning; and engage the voices of diverse participants in the planning, design, implementation, and overall organization of garden programs.
- Lori Brewer is the Adult and Family Education Program Leader for Cornell Garden-Based Learning. She is also the Master Gardener Volunteer Program Lead Advisor and the Seed to Supper Coordinator for New York State. By creating professional development opportunities for CCE horticulture educators, MGV and other community horticulture and environmental volunteers including Master Composters and Environmental Stewards, she aims to connect them with research-based knowledge, emerging issues as well as Cornell University’s faculty, staff, departments and programs. Her work results in several thousand direct contact hours with supporting stakeholders each year as she coordinates program work team meetings, campus and regional workshops, conferences, web-based forums and resources, e-newsletters, the Horticulture Resource Library, volunteer training resources and small group or one-on-one discussions.
- Fiona Doherty is the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Educator Enrichment Specialist. Fiona’s background is in both nutrition and garden-based education, and she brings a passion for food gardening in particular to educator enrichment. Her focus is on youth and community development in the garden setting. Please contact Fiona with general garden-based learning questions including curriculum and program development, program organization, and how to integrate our numerous resources into programs. Fiona is also the contact for educator enrichment opportunities focused on youth programming for Extension Educators and Master Gardener Volunteers throughout New York State.