What is Ithaca Children's Garden?
Ithaca Children's Garden (ICG) is both a place and a program, located on the Cayuga Waterfront Trail, minutes from downtown Ithaca. ICG has spent over a decade now building a three-acre public children's garden as well as developing, implementing, and evaluating a wide range of educational programs for children, teens, families, schools, and the community.
ICG holds educational programs throughout the year with the majority occurring during the growing season, between April and October. During June, July, and August, programs run most days at the Garden. ICG often holds winter programs offsite and out in the community.
Some of ICG's programs are free, drop-in programs (like Zone-into-Nature and Summer Sprouts), while others (such as our Salad Farmers program and summer camps), require registration and fees. We provide scholarships for those who would be unable to participate without. The Garden also hosts community events each year such as our Festival of Fire and Ice (early February), International Mud Day (late June) and the Scarecrow Jubilee (mid October). Check out the Programs/Events page for more information on ICG programs and events.
A brief ICG History
The ICG was first organized in 1997 by Harriet Becker, Mary Alyce Kobler, and Monika Roth. They heard Jane Taylor of the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden speak and thought "why not in Ithaca!" In October, 1998, ICG earned its 501 (c)3 non-profit status, and in 1999 ICG was able to secure funding to hire a part time director and education program assistant. In 2004, a lease for 3 acres in Cass Park was secured with the City of Ithaca, and in 2005, Gaia the Turtle was built. From there the program, staff, volunteers, and plans for the Garden have only grown. Each year the Garden continues to expand the ways it meets the needs of the community.