Ithaca Children's Garden (ICG) is driven by a mission to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards, with a commitment to equity and inclusive access to quality green spaces.
Found in beautiful Ithaca, NY, ICG offers an award-winning 3-acre public garden that is free and open to all every day of the year, and has been honoring the whole child and fostering environmental stewardship since 1999. ICG believes the best way to do that is to get more children outside, engaging with the natural world through play and direct, hands-on experience.
ICG serves as a research-based demonstration, play, and learning garden, and is rooted in the practices of permaculture, playwork, and child-directed learning. In addition to serving as a training hub, ICG also offers consultation and support to other public gardens, nature centers, municipalities, and educators who are exploring ways of bringing more nature-play into their respective spheres.
ICG’s physical garden has been offering rich habitats that invite visitors of all ages to explore and play since 2004. The Garden is home to Gaia, the larger than life climbable turtle sculpture, and numerous attractions including a kitchen garden with honeybees and hens, a bird garden, straw-bale troll house, recycled bottle greenhouse, blooming bulb labyrinth, wildflower meadow, rice paddy pond, wetlands, and the nationally recognized Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone. At ICG, children can get dirty, take calculated risks, and build and destroy things. These experiences help to stimulate greater respect and love for nature that children will carry with them for life.
See the garden in action in our video "Discover Ithaca Children's Garden."
-Story contributed by Sophie T., Ithaca Children's Garden.