emerald ash borer

Environmental Programming



The Master Gardener Program

is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension office to expand research-based horticultural information and outreach throughout the community. The volunteers receive instruction and are kept up-to-date through trainings and workshops. In return, they share their knowledge through community service.

Master Gardeners provide a number of services and run many programs and events. They staff the gardening helpline, answering the publics’ horticultural questions. They administer annual programs such as plant sales, arboretum tours, and a gardening symposium. Master Gardeners also speak to local groups, write articles, and support demonstration and community improvement projects.

Contact: Sue Magee, Master Gardener Program Coordinator, monroehort@cornell.edu


The Master Naturalist Program 

is a high-quality, science-based training program designed to teach adults about New York’s natural resources, empowering them to educate others and participate in on-the-ground conservation and monitoring projects.

Volunteer activities include conservation, monitoring activities, and educational outreach. Examples include removing or monitoring invasive species, collecting citizen science data for an ongoing program, inventorying wildflowers, participating in riparian buffer plantings or restoration, conducting wildlife surveys, contributing to water quality monitoring or research. Outreach activities may include leading a “woods walk”, writing articles, giving presentations, or developing educational brochures.

Contact: Kristi Sullivan, Director, New York State Master Naturalist Volunteer Program, kls20@cornell.edu


The Master Forest Owner Program

provides private forest owners of New York State with the information and encouragement necessary to manage their forest holdings wisely. Our experienced and highly motivated volunteers are available to meet with forest owners in their woodlots to discuss forest owner objectives and how to find the assistance they need. Master Forest Owners (MFOs) have received training from Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources that complements their experience as forest owners.

Over 140 experienced and highly motivated volunteer MFOs are available statewide, ready to assist neighbor woodland owners with the information needed to start managing their woodlands, through free site visits to landowners properties.

Contact: Laura Bailey, MFO Regional Director, lb698@cornell.edu


Contact: Marci Muller, Horticulture Program Leader, mem545@cornell.edu

Pollinator Friendly Garden Certification Program (Coming 2021)

Teaches homeowners how to action to protect pollinators by planting pollinator-friendly gardens and providing education for the gardening public. Homeowners can join this effort by providing food and habitat for native insects/animals. Pollinators will, in turn, provide the pollination needed to protect our plant diversity and food sources. Certifying one’s property as “Pollinator Friendly” will help support a healthy ecosystem for our community and our future.

Attracting Pollinators to your Garden

Pollinators play an important role in native ecosystems, home gardens, and global food production.

This presentation will discuss the wide range of pollinators active in our gardens and what gardeners can do to make their yard more attractive to pollinators. The presentation includes discussion of a variety of native plants and the handouts include a plant list.


A great garden starts with great soil! One way to maintain good health and high nutrient content of your soil is by adding garden compost. Composting is more than recycling garden waste or kitchen scraps – it’s a way of creating a healthy environment for all organisms. Participants will learn good composting practices to help drive sustainability and production in their garden.

Don’t Get Ticked, NY!

How to identify and protect yourself and your pets from ticks. Includes how to perform tick checks, using tick repellants, and how to manage ticks in your yard.

Identifying and Monitoring New and Existing Landscape Pests

Invasive species can have a dramatic impact on the species they attack, as there are often few natural controls to their spread. Some of species, such as the Emerald Ash Borer have been in New York State for many years, while others, like the Gypy Moth, are still potential threats. Education is key in stopping the spread of these damaging pests.

Integrated Pest Management

The need for pest management is universal, as are its risks. We help address your pest management needs, whether you are on the farm, at work or in school, at home, or in the community. We promote safe, least-toxic solutions to both pest and pesticide problems. IPM helps deal with pests—insects, plant diseases, weeds, and more—with methods that help keep health and environmental risks as low as possible while saving money.

Invasive Plants

What is an invasive plant? What are NYS’s regulations for invasives? What invasives am I likely to find as weeds in my garden and how can I control them? What common garden and landscape plants are now considered invasive? This presentation will answer all of these questions and provide suggestions for native plants to replace common invasives.

Native Plants

Gardening/landscaping with native plants helps pollinators and other native species. This presentation describes some of the other benefits of gardening with native plants. Native plants suggestions for sun, shade, wet and dry locations are provided.

Poisonous Plants

You may be surprised to learn that many of our favorite ornamental garden plants are poisonous and some have fascinating histories. This presentation provides common sense precautions to safely grow these plant.

Understanding Riparian Corridors and Buffers

Riparian buffers are strips of vegetation next to streams or other water bodies that improve water quality and create habitat for fish and wildlife. This presentation aims to support and educate stream-side landowners in their efforts to restore and protect riparian buffers in their communities

Last updated November 17, 2020