canna and other flowers on commons containers
Image by Janine Willis

Containers on the Commons planted by Beautification

pink petunias, yellow marigolds, dark leaved canna

Summer planting at the Tompkins County Public Library

Garden at Aurora Street Triangle
Image by Janine Willis

Aurora Street Triangle Planting

About Beautification

The Tompkins County Community Beautification Program was established in 2002 with funds from the Tompkins County Tourism Program and the Hotel Room Tax, an additional 5% paid by guests at local hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts to support tourism initiatives. The primary goal of our Community Beautification program is to increase the perception of Ithaca and Tompkins County as an outstandingly beautiful community that is in sync with seasonal rhythms, that is easy for visitors to navigate, that is beautiful to live in and a joy to visit through the installation and maintenance of abundant plantings, particularly in areas where tourists go. In the City of Ithaca, this is accomplished through the efforts of a group of volunteers called the Beautification Brigade. If you are interested in volunteering with the Beautification Brigade, please contact us.

Volunteers with the Tompkins County Community Beautification Program help to make Ithaca more beautiful while learning useful gardening tips and techniques. The Brigade plants and maintains spring and summer flowers on city traffic medians and the Ithaca Commons.

For information on ourĀ Rural Beautification Grants, please contact us.

The semi-annual Open Days Garden Tour in Tompkins County is coordinated by the Community Beautification Program in partnership with the national Garden Conservancy. This event opens exceptional private gardens to the public for one day, and brings visitors into Tompkins County to enjoy the tour.

Watch Community Beautification on Pegasys Cable

The Community Beautification Program was featured on a Pegasys (local cable community access) television show 'Cayuga Lake Heritage'. You can watch the show on line HERE.


Janine Willis
Community Beautification Coordinator
(607) 272-2292

Last updated November 3, 2022