Just Play Ithaca!
Just Play Ithaca! is The Just Play Project's first on-the-ground model based in Ithaca, New York. We are working to coordinate cross-sector collaborations to design child-centered communities - developing people, places, and policies for child-directed play. Ithaca is home to one of the few United States Adventure Playgrounds, The Hands-On Nature Anarchy Zone at The Ithaca Children's Garden.
As we develop the structures to support Just Play Ithaca! - we will document the successes and failures as a way to empower and inspire other communities to join us in asking the question: How do we design child-centered communities?
In under a year, Just Play Project has employed and trained playworkers to activate local public parks by providing free play opportunities for over 100 children. JPP partnered with Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS) and Northside United to support a youth-led planning and design of a new playground built in the Northside neighborhood. In partnership with Ithaca City School District, JPP is Reimagining Recess! to ensure all students have an opportunity for learning and development through child-directed play, during school. Currently, Just Play Project is building capacity to inform local policy change, working alongside City government, non-profits, and private businesses to include policies for play. Just Play Project believes child-directed play is a catalyst for community development and a way children participate actively in their communities. Learn more about our work below!