Ithaca Elementary Outdoor Gear Project

Our mission: To mobilize community resources to equitably meet the outdoor learning needs for ICSD elementary school classrooms.


The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) reopened schools with a commitment to equity, inclusion, and antiracist pedagogy and practice. Maintaining this commitment is uniquely challenging during a global pandemic that is intensifying existing inequities in communities across the globe. Reopening schools, and ensuring they remain open, is one of the most important things we can do in our community, especially for our youngest learners. Outdoor learning can help schools stay open and safe, and it is vitally important that every student has access to outdoor learning and play.

Outdoor Learning

"This [project] is a natural progression of the place-based and project-based learning that ICSD has been excelling in over the last decade. It builds on our case study curriculum culture and our district’s commitment to supporting all learners. Many of our schools already have unique outdoor learning facilities and educators committed to using them. Our district is supporting the infrastructure and asking educators what they need. We are grateful to our PTAs for supporting families with gear for their students for both recess and learning outdoors."

Mary Grover, Inclusion Officer, ICSD

Community Partners

The Ithaca Children’s Garden (ICG) and the Cornell Masters of Public Health Program partnered to design outdoor learning spaces at all eight of our district's elementary schools. ICSD funded the purchase of logs, tarps and picnic tables. Parents from every school volunteered to ready these spaces, and the elementary school principals are on board with getting kids outdoors. You can read more about this community effort in the ICG blog and become one of our Community Partners by giving today!

We are proud to partner with Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), the fiscal sponsor for this project.

Thank you to our Community Partners and other local sponsors!

Want to help or have questions? Contact us at