Cumming Nature Center > Programs & Events


Explore the wonders of mushrooms and other fungi during Myco Mania at CNC!

  • Cumming Nature Center
  • Sunday, September 17

  • 10am-4pm

  • $10 adults/$5 kids


The world of fungi is complex, profound, and integral to life on Earth. During Myco Mania you can delve into the fascinating world of fungi with curiosity-provoking presentations, hands-on activities, expert-led hikes, and more.

At Myco Mania you can…

🍄 Enjoy presentations from regional experts on mushroom identification, cultivation, medicinal mushrooms, and mushroom dyeing
🪵 Get up close and personal to the fungi of our region with the Rochester Area Mycological Association (RAMA) during a Myco Moment mini-talk
🥾 Take a hike (or more than one!) to learn about mushrooms and lichens out on the trail
🍃 Check out fungi-focused vendors and explore other fungi-focused activities around the Nature Center—we’ll have options for all ages!

We will have a limited supply of mushroom soup (plus a non-mushroom option!) available for purchase during the lunch hour. You may also bring a picnic lunch if you prefer!

$10 for adults
$5 for children 3-18 (under 3 is free)


Check out the schedule for the day below! Schedule is subject to change.

Fungi-Focused Vendors & Displays | Fungi Collection Table with RAMA | Spore Prints & Coloring Pages for Kids

HIKE | 10:15am
Fungal Ecology & Conservation

MYCO MOMENT w/ RAMA | 10:30am
Mushroom Shapes: Getting to Know your Mushrooms

Mushroom Cultivation (Hawk Meadow Farm)

MYCO MOMENT w/ RAMA | 11:30am
Beginner Mushroom ID

HIKE | 12:30pm
Hikin’ with Lichens

Mushroom Identification 201: Beyond the Basics (Shannon Nix)

MYCO MOMENT w/ RAMA | 1:30pm
Is it a Porcini? Intro to Taxonomy & DNA

Intro to Mushroom Dyes (Tonya Pettit)

MYCO MOMENT w/ RAMA | 2:30pm
Intro to Toxic & Edible Boletes of NY

HIKE | 2:30pm
The Mushrooms of the Cumming Nature Center

Medicinal Mushrooms (Healing Spirits Herb Farm)



Mushroom Identification 201 |
Dr. Shannon Nix

Go beyond the basics and dig into the details of mushroom ID. In this presentation, Shannon will walk you through documenting the key habitat, substrate and macro-morphological features of Agaric (gilled) and Bolete (pored) mushrooms so that you can take your identification skills to the next level.


Dr. Shannon Nix is a fungal ecologist who received her B.S. from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Prior to becoming a tenured professor at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Shannon studied the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on fungal communities as a Fulbright Fellow at the Agricultural University of Norway and as a Post Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Georgia Experiment Station.  During her career as a professor at Clarion and George Mason universities, she taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in mycology, botany, microbiology and environmental science. Now retired from higher education, Shannon is passionate about education and raising awareness of the role that fungi play in the environment and our lives.


Cultivating Mushrooms | Steve Sierigk, Hawk Meadow Farm

Join Steve Sierigk from Hawk Meadow Farm to explore the outdoor cultivation of wood decaying mushrooms like Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Oyster and even the ubiquitous Turkey Tail using natural hardwood logs.  This presentation will discuss different inoculation techniques, strain selection, spawn selection and log management, and supplies.


Steve Sierigk is an owner at Hawk Meadow Farm, which is located near the southern edge of the Finger Lakes National Forest and specializes in log-grown woodland mushrooms. Hawk Meadow makes medicinal tinctures from their mushrooms, as well as sells them to local restaurants. Other products include maple syrup, herbal skin care products, locust posts, benches, and sustainably harvested lumber.

At Hawk Meadow, Steven and Anne take to heart their role as stewards of the land by trying to leave their piece of earth better than they found it. They include in their plans– soil building, water quality, improved forest stands, and coexistence with many forms of wildlife as they carve out their agricultural enterprise.



Explore the strange and wonderful world of mushroom dyes! This presentation will provide a visual demonstration of color shifting, modifiers, and the wondrous dyeing possibilities found hidden in mushrooms.


Tonya is happiest when totally immersing herself in a new skill or taking a previous skill further. From basket making to fiber arts, Tonya has learned each skill in order to teach her homeschooling family in an immersive way, with hands-on experience that extends into the living history community that she demonstrates in. While turning those things into an artistic expression Tonya begins with research and attempts to create an accurate portrayal, then asks the question “what happens if?” in order to stretch the possibilities.  Currently she is developing her skills in Natural Dyes and chemistry with mushrooms and lichens, dabbling in biology with an herb garden, and exploring ways to dye porcupine quills with locally foraged dye materials.  Summer can find her at rendezvous demonstrating pine needle basket making and the skills of a country wife of the Fur Trade Era.


Medicinal Mushrooms | Adam Welch

Have you ever been curious about the healing properties of mushrooms? During this presentation, Adam Welch will discuss the medicinal properties of mushrooms, and how they grow mushrooms for medicinal purposes at Healing Spirits Herb Farm.


Adam Welch is the farm manager and Resident Mushroom Expert at Healing Spirits Herb Farm. He loves working in the mushroom facility at Healing Spirits, and has been growing mushrooms for over 15 years.


Fungal Ecology & Conservation | Dr. Shannon Nix
More than just decomposers, fungi are essential contributors to the health and proper functioning of ecosystems.  On this walk you will learn about the different roles, partnerships and ecosystem services that fungi provide to help make our world a better place to live. 

Hikin’ with Lichens | Maureen Dunphy
Learn about the fascinating world of lichens and the important role they play in an ecosystem. Head out on the trail to see the enormous diversity of these symbiotic organisms up close and in person.

Mushrooms of Cumming Nature Center | Dr. Shannon Nix
Last fall, over 160 species of fungi were observed and documented at the Nature Center. How many will we find this year?  Will we find any new species?  Let’s find out together!  Join this hike to discover the mushrooms and other fungi living at Cumming Nature Center and learn how you can help contribute to our knowledge and understanding of this fascinating group of organisms.

$10 for adults
$5 for children 3-18 (under 3 is free)

If you would like to join us as a vendor? Fill out this form to get in touch with our planning team: Vendor Interest Form

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About The Event

  • Cumming Nature Center
  • September 17

  • 10am-4pm