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Week 8, 9, and 10

The finished bee hotel in the teaching garden.

After many weeks of work on different projects, my internship was finally coming to a close.

Roger and I finished work on the bee hotel by reattaching the roof and bolting the hotel back on to its concrete base. Now the bee hotel has been restored to its former prominence within the teaching garden. It will serve to teach visitors about the importance of native pollinators and provide critical nesting habitat for wild bees.

The final project of my internship involved creating a self-guided tour of the garden. Normally, there are teams of volunteers in the garden who take care of plantings, maintain the compost, weed, and harvest the produce. In normal circumstances, volunteers would happily give tours to visitors, but because of the pandemic, volunteers are in the garden less often. A self-guided tour will ensure that visitors can still learn about the many hidden gems in the garden.

The tour has two versions: an in-person tour with paper handouts, and a virtual online tour that complements the in-person tour.

The in-person handouts are designed for the garden’s many acrylic boxes and marker posts. The tour has 8 stops within the garden. At each stop, the handouts show your current location and the location of all the other stops along with the route of the walking tour. Each handout highlights 2 to 4 important plantings or features. Because the garden’s main purpose is to encourage healthy lifestyles through the process of gardening, the tour explains why many of the fruits growing within the garden are particularly healthy.

The handout box and marker post for stop #3 in the teaching garden.
Paper handouts at each stop help visitors navigate the garden and teach about the many interesting plantings and other features in the garden.

Because space on the handouts is limited and information about each point of interest is particularly brief, QR codes on the handouts point users to a webpage that accompanies the tour. The webpage includes detailed information for many points of interest, including photos and links to more information. The webpage also includes 360° Google Streetview photos at each of the tour stops to provide an immersive experience for those who wish to visit the garden from the comfort of their homes.

The virtual tour can be found at blogs.cornell.edu/cceschuylerblog/gardentour/