Ithaca Forest Preschool

“The Hemlock Grove, the Hemlock Grove, where the trees stay green all through the winter. The swamp will freeze and we’ll find the fisher, climbing over fallen trees,” the preschoolers sang before hiking out to the Hemlocks. There they played on the dragon shelter, slid around on some ice and followed fisher tracks (seen above)! Photo taken by Melissa Blake.

A child playing on the dragon shelter. This structure was created after a hemlock tree had fallen and with it, uprooted some of the surrounding earth. During summer camp, children noticed that it looked like the mouth of a dragon and added a body, tail and even teeth! The preschoolers liked climbing on and through the dragon. Photo taken by Melissa Blake.

A treasure map drawn by one of the preschoolers. Here the child is pointing to where the treasure is located. Several children joined in the search for the lost treasure that took them up the Climbing Hill, to the tipi, down to the Horsey Log and finished at Trillium North.

Preschoolers following the treasure map. Their journey also led them to the “spider stump,” where they stopped to play before moving on.

Once in Trillium North, the children noticed that one of their favorite trees had a broken branch. When discussing what they could do to help it, the group decided to take some charcoal from the fire and place it at the tree’s roots.

“There’s a bug up here,” a child exclaimed while sitting in a musclewood tree (Carpinus caroliniana) in Trillium North.

Children making cupcake batter on a muddy day. They added water from the creek, moss and white pine needles. Photo taken by Melissa Blake.

“Hello tree! We love you,” a preschooler said while walking up the path at the end of the day.

A young fisher cat in a tree. The preschoolers learned that fishers can rotate their paws 180 degrees so they can climb down trees headfirst!

Office Location:
Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850
607-272-2292 | email Us

Preschool Location: 
4-H Acres, 418 Lower Creek Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850


Ithaca Forest Preschool is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and is run by Primitive Pursuits, a 4-H Program.