The ICNL Reserves
Ithaca College (IC) owns a large area of undeveloped land adjacent to and near its built campus that is predominantly covered by forest at various stages of secondary succession. Throughout IC’s history on South Hill these undeveloped lands have remained minimally used and largely unknown to many IC faculty, staff, and students. In recent years, however, these undeveloped lands have become increasingly valuable and used by a growing number and variety of people.
Within IC’s undeveloped land area are 560 acres formally designated as the Ithaca College Natural Lands (ICNL) system. The ICNL system consists of two parcels adjacent to IC’s built campus in the Town of Ithaca and two parcels adjacent to one another approximately 15 km southwest of Ithaca in the neighboring Town of Newfield. In the sidebar, each of these areas is outlined in detail: South Hill Natural Area West and East, the Bob Robinson Family Preserve, and the Ithaca College Natural Resource Reserve.
There are several areas within IC Natural Lands which are designated by Tompkins County as Unique Natural Areas. “The Unique Natural Areas (UNAs) of Tompkins County are sites with outstanding environmental qualities, as defined by the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council, that are deserving of special attention for preservation and protection. UNAs include such natural features as gorges, woods, swamps, fens, cliffs, and streams. They lie on both publicly and privately owned lands and are generally not open to the public" (From the Tompkins County Website). Click here for a map depicting the UNA designations within Tompkins County.