Content warning: This article includes discussions of racism, white supremacy and homophobia.
When I was sitting in UNILWYL 1156: Queer Identities and Beyond, last semester, I was shocked to hear the words “Cornell Plantations” and learn about its history. At first, I thought it was one of those scenarios that was made up just to educate students. On the other hand, I wasn’t in total shock. Cornell is an Ivy. No matter how diverse, it’s still old and was founded by people who never had a minority’s interest at heart.
“A lot of pollinators can’t travel far distances without stops for nectar,” said Lev Krasnovsky ’21. “If one green space is separated by a parking lot and road from another green space, [pollinators] are stuck in an island.”
There’s a spot unique to this campus where I go when Cornell is being especially cruel. It spans about two or three square miles between CALS and North Campus and houses an arboretum, wildflower garden, trails and more. For the past three years I’ve made this place part of my daily routine, running and hiking there most mornings. I still feel rewarded when I climb its hills to see its views. I still get a sense of exploration even though I have already explored most of its twists and turns.