Turn up the steep gravel drive at 1581 Ellis Hollow Road and park in the small clearing to visit the woodland that Robert and Ruth Polson left to Cornell University in 1999. Professor Polson joined the Department of Rural Sociology at Cornell in 1931 and was one of the founders of Cornell's International Agriculture Program. Ruth Polson was an English teacher, a musician, and an avid proponent of public libraries who helped establish the Finger Lakes Library System. The Polsons lived modestly in their home above Ellis Hollow. Bob Polson loved the outdoors and working in the woods, which reminded him of home in Washington's timber country. Cornell Plantations manages the Polson Preserve, a peaceful wooded area on the north side of Snyder Hill. Visitors are welcome to hike through the maple and beech forest, which is dotted with witch hazel, viburnum, hemlock, yellow birch, hickory, oak, and cucumber magnolia. For a description of the Preserve, go to http://www.plantations.cornell.edu/collections/natareas/snyder_hill.cfm
The entrance to the Travis Preserve is across the road from the Polson Preserve, along the east side of the Hartwood housing development. The preserve is just behind the development along Cascadilla Creek. Professor and Mrs. Bernahrd Travis were fond of birds and waterfowl. After they died, their family left part of their property to Cornell Plantations for the enjoyment of others who love birds and natural areas.
The Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve
The 110-acre Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve was a gift in September 2000 to the Finger Lakes Land Trust by Ellis Hollow resident Bobbie Keeton. Bill and Bobbie Keeton developed the subdivision immediately west of the Preserve. The Finger Lakes Land Trust, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1989 and is committed to protecting the natural integrity of the Finger Lakes Region. They establish nature preserves, hold conservation easements, educate for responsible stewardship, and work cooperatively with private groups and public agencies.
A committee of the Finger Lakes Land Trust made up of Ellis Hollow residents solicited funds in the Fall of 2000 to increase the endowment in the Stewardship Fund. They successfully raised over $30,000. At the Annual Meeting in 2001, a commemorative placard presented by Tom Reimers, President of Finger Lakes Land Trust, was given to the EHCC. This plaque now hangs inside the Center.
The Preserve has hiking trails open to the public. Primary access, with parking, to the Preserve is on Ellis Hollow Creek Road on the east side of the stream that is just east of Genung Road For more information on this preserve go to the FLLT page.
Hey Kids!!! For information about wildlife around our area check out www.enaturalist.org