Arboretum at Cornell Botanic Gardens closed to vehicles for the winter

The F. R. Newman Arboretum at Cornell University’s Botanic Gardens is closed for the winter season as of dusk on Thursday, December 7th. Pedestrians will still be welcome to access the area.

December at the Cornell Botanic Gardens. 14850 Photo.

“Limited parking is available at the Mundy Wildflower Garden parking lot on Caldwell Road at the intersection with Forest Home Drive,” say Botanic Gardens officials. That lot “is directly across from the arboretum,” which is closed to vehicular traffic every winter.

“The decision on when to close the gates is made in collaboration with the Cornell University Police Department, and based on anticipated weather conditions,” Shannon Dortch tells us.

“The substances and techniques needed to make the roadways in the arboretum safe for vehicles during winter weather conditions damage trees,” Shannon says. “The arboretum is foremost a living museum of trees and woody plants.”

Further, she tells us, “Cornell Botanic Gardens is capacity restrained, in maintaining roadways in winter. We don’t have the plows needed, nor the staff to monitor roadway conditions in the arboretum all winter.”

The gates will swing open again, from dawn to dusk, once the threat of winter weather is past in the spring.

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