CCE Tompkins County’s 4-H programs are all about growth, as youth participants explore and discover diverse interests. This year, the 4-H acres property itself is growing through the generous donation of a neighboring 6-acre plot given by longtime supporter Bruce Abbott.
The land is only a short distance from 4-H Acres at 418 Lower Creek Road, and was formerly part of a larger farm plot that was divided by the development of route 13. Since then, it has been left to nature, making it an ideal space for Primitive Pursuits and other 4-H programs and other outdoor education programs — whether hiking, camping, foraging, or plant and animal identification.
Bruce’s involvement with 4-H programs at CCE Tompkins County traces back to the 70s, when his family recognized the need for a dynamic youth program serving Ithaca’s West Village housing development. After several years of build-up with Cornell’s Human Ecology Department, the program was adopted by 4-H Urban Outreach. “Thus began a wonderful and meaningful 30-year relationship,” Bruce shared. “We created both a summer and winter curriculum, the latter focused on academics. Volunteer students from Cornell and Ithaca College worked with our children and helped them with language skills and homework…The 4-H expertise in the development of children’s interests and skills was a most important factor in our success as a large-scale housing development.”
Bruce cites his experiences as an Eagle scout as instilling skills and values associated with the natural environment as well as motivating this donation. “I am happy to be able to help Primitive Pursuits and whomever else enjoys the property to have the benefits of a program that adds to their personal growth, skill development, and enjoyment,” Bruce said. “I can’t think of a better use!”
Last updated May 9, 2023