The Ithaca Y's Outdoor Education Center
Located at 1349 Mecklenburg Road, Ithaca NY, this 109 acres of undeveloped land is a place for people to disconnect from everyday stresses and reconnect with nature and all of it's benefits. The property is open to the public.
The Takoda Project
Takoda is the signature program of the YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County Outdoor Education Center. Takoda is a Native American word that means “friends to everyone”. Takoda’s mission is to bring community closer to nature by teaching 21st century skills (modern-day) in a non-traditional format while focusing on the Y’s values and character development. With our experienced YMCA outdoor education staff, we will teach (introduce) the history of our land and how it was formed by the glaciers during the Pleistocene Ice Age, why waterfalls are numerous in our area, and study different types of animals that call this area home. We will learn about the primitive tools that were used by our Native American friends, including how the tools were made and the modifications that were made to create a more efficient tool over the years. Overnight programs will include night stories, including Native American theories about how their lives rely on nature, our universe and constellations, how Native Americans used the night sky to determine the season, and study how Native Americans were able to navigate across our land using the stars above. Takoda encourages participants to learn while being active in a fun and safe environment.