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A Focused Vision

Through our mission, we work daily to achieve a cultural intervention that will bring back into our modern lives a necessary and healthy relationship between our human communities and the natural world.

Over the past several years we have experienced some exciting milestones in our vision of service to our community. As we celebrate our local achievements and two decades of local nature connection and community building, we are sowing seeds to build our organization’s reach beyond Tompkins County and to expand nature access opportunities to more families in need.

Providing more opportunities for people to get outside exploring nature and learning the skills of sustenance and thriving that have served our ancestors since the dawn of time is core to our mission.

In 2013 we hit a milestone for expanding that mission to our youngest community members with the founding of the Ithaca Forest Preschool, one of the first Forest Preschools in the country!

Seeing a need to have more naturalists on the ground and more nature enthusiasts in children’s lives as role models, we also created adult Wilderness Skills Intensives and Certification programs for both professionals and neighborhood naturalists alike.

We also expanded teen leadership offerings in response to teens speaking up about continuing on their journey after outgrowing younger-aged programs. This resulted in a popular Counselor in Training track, new overnight camps, and expanded youth employment opportunities.

In 2015, having realized long-standing sustainability goals, we shifted more organizational focus on building a more inclusive and social justice oriented program model. This started with our Nature Access for All campaign, and continues today. Since then, we have distributed up to $30,000 annually in scholarship funding and have provided free or reduced-cost programming to over 20% of all Primitive Pursuits program participants.

We continue in our work of offering unforgettable adventures and life-affirming experiences for all and we are grateful for the support of our community.

If you are interested in joining us as a volunteer, sponsor, donor or simply an advocate out in the world, we welcome your involvement and look forward to connecting.

And we hope to see you in the woods!

"I can feel my heartbeat beating to the rhythm of a freedom song. When I say "yes" to the beat in me I can let my spirit free... I am truly grateful for the hours we spent together, for the baseline, the camouflage, the sit-spot, the fire, the talk, and the listening. Thank you." Central Fire Participant

Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

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