March Webinar – Cultivating a Sustainable Future – Cornell Botanic Gardens Native Lawn with Todd Bintner
March 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Traditional turfgrass lawns provide little benefit to native biodiversity, are significant sources of air and water pollution, and require huge investments of time to maintain. In a world grappling with the climate crisis, every action counts, and adopting a new lawn paradigm that champions native biodiversity in your own backyard is a powerful way to take control of your environmental impact.
Join us for an enlightening webinar as we explore a visionary lawn paradigm shift – one where lush, low-growing native grasses and forbs take center stage. As featured in the New York Times article by Margaret Roach, this webinar will explore the journey behind Cornell Botanic Gardens’ native lawn, from its inception to the multitude of benefits it brings, and the invaluable lessons it has taught us.
Director of Natural Areas for Cornell Botanic Gardens
Todd Bittner is the Director of Natural Areas for Cornell Botanic Gardens. Todd manages a system of preserves spanning nearly 3,700 acres across 40 natural areas that serve as the outdoor classrooms for Cornell University. These include representative examples of all the natural community types and most of the rare plant habitats in the central Finger Lakes Region. The natural areas encompass one-third of Cornell’s iconic campus landscape, including two massive gorges, scenic Beebe Lake, and a renowned wildflower garden, which hosts the Gardens’ “native lawn” that was featured in the New York Times in 2023.
Todd leads the Gardens’ native biodiversity conservation and stewardship efforts, which includes maintaining 32 miles of public trails that provide key campus commuting routes and support wellness and access to nature for tens of thousands each year.
Todd directly educates students and the public on natural heritage, and teaches a Restoration Ecology course. Todd’s service to the University and the local community is extensive and serves on the University’s Gorge Safety Committee, Campus Planning, and Deer Management Committees, and is a Fellow at the Flora Rose House. He serves on the Dryden Rail Trail Taskforce and the Tompkins County Parks and Trails Network Committee. Todd is also a conservation scientist with the Center for Plant Conservation, and in 2020 was named a “Conservation Champion” by the Center.