Erin Marteal

Executive Director
(607) 319-4203

Erin's work in the field of garden-based education started in earnest by humble roots, when she became a Master Composter volunteer in 2000. She has always been passionate about changing the world, specifically when it comes to the environment and people’s health and well-being. Leading Ithaca’s #1 non-profit organization for exactly this kind of change is now her privilege and bliss.

Prior to her tenure with ICG, Erin led a variety of garden-based learning efforts for children and adults in the local community and statewide, including numerous living classroom projects and garden outreach programs in Ithaca schools. She worked with Cornell Garden-based Learning Program, assisted with development of permaculture education programs for children and schools at Durban Botanic Gardens in South Africa, and received her Master’s degree in Public Garden Leadership with Cornell's Department of Horticulture. The title of her thesis was How public gardens can best engage their local schools.

Following her graduate studies, and as recipient of the Cornell University Dreer Award, Erin spent six months traveling to Australia, New Zealand and Trinidad researching permaculture in public garden education.

Erin is deeply inspired by Permaculture ethics and principles and is always looking for ways to integrate permaculture philosophy into all aspects of Ithaca Children's Garden, from education and landscape management to organizational structure. (Read this article about her take on the 4-day work week). She is an advocate for playwork and the importance of real play in children’s lives for social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development.

Erin has been serving as the Executive Director for Ithaca Children's Garden since May 2011, and is always happy to talk with you about how Ithaca Children's Garden can become part of your life too!