Leigh MacDonald-Rizzo

Education Director

(607) 319-4203

Leigh has been supporting plant and environmental education as a Cornell Cooperative Extension employee and part of the ICG team since 1999. Her collection of wide-ranging interests have, at their core, the magic of childhood and wonder of the natural world.

After studying horticulture at Cornell, Leigh focused her master’s work on environmental education in public garden settings. Leigh believes wholeheartedly in the connection between environmental stewardship and meaningful time in nature during childhood. Her work at ICG allows a unique blend of fostering outdoor, child-led free play and hands-on, multidisciplinary exploration of the natural world. After 15 years of developing and leading education programs for Ithaca Children's Garden, Leigh feels ICG’s focus on permaculture and playwork lay the foundation for the next generation of environmental stewards.

In her years in service, Leigh has earned a reputation as a first rate educator. With 3 young boys of her own, she knows what kids like, and loves to deliver it through program innovation, design, and evaluation.