Author Archives: mtravisdunham

Project Abundance Germinates

Raised garden beds at the corner of Third and Madison Streets

If you’ve attended Meeting for Worship in person at our Third Street Meetinghouse, or just been past there recently you probably noticed several raised garden beds installed on the tree lawn and along the fence. What you’re seeing is the beginning of Project Abundance. Thanks in part to a mini-grant from Sustainable Tompkins, Ithaca Monthly Meeting’s Earthcare Committee has launched Project Abundance to “make real the sense of abundance nature offers us – and incorporate the sacredness of nature and the miracle of growth more within neighborhood communities and within our own congregations” (from the grant application). Food and flowers growing in the raised beds will be available for anyone in the neighborhood to pick and use for free.

The originating purpose of Project Abundance, which Earthcare discussed in fall of 2020, was to get past the narrowing and diminishing mindset of the Trump presidency and the pandemic.  When they began researching how to implement the idea they discovered an already existing network of neighborhood raised garden beds in the Northside neighborhood, ranging from a park near the Science Center, to Conley Park, to a permaculture park near the Cascadilla Creek. Leading this effort was Josh Dolan of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Solidarity Gardens, a network of area gardeners.   Earthcare looked for ways to plug into this network and expand on their vision.  

Members of the Earthcare Committee reached out to the Northside Neighborhood via their listserv and solicited thoughts on what to grow in these raised garden beds. Suggestions included greens (kale, collard greens, chard, lettuce), herbs (thyme, basil, parsley) and flowers (calendulas, zinnias, lavender). The aim of the project is to encourage a sense of abundance and delight in growing food and flowers. In addition, Earthcare wants to see if we can create a model that other religious organizations can adopt.

Earthcare Committee hopes this physical and practical example will expand love of nature and a concern with the human destruction of nature within Ithaca Meeting.  They also hope to create a further connection between Ithaca Meeting and members of the Earthcare Committee, and the Northside neighborhood. The committee hopes this project will blur those boundaries between our Meeting and the neighborhood, and enhance Quaker ideas of the Spirit in everyone and everything.

The project is led by Betsy Keokosky and involves the work of several Friends in our Meeting, including Margaret McCasland, Jim Grant, Miguel Piery, Steve Soblick. If you would like to help with this project, get in touch with Betsy.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembrance


Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 6:00 pm (EDT)

  • Around the Peace Pole in front of the Friends Center for Racial Justice (FCRJ), 227 North Willard Way (please wear a mask and social distance)

There has been a tradition of Friends and others to take time to remember the dropping of the first atomic bombs in 1945 on Hiroshima (August 6) and on Nagasaki Japan (August 9) with a silent vigil around the Peace Pole in front of the Friends Center for Racial Justice (FCRJ). This year marks the 75th anniversary of these bombings. This is a vigil of mindfulness and remembrance of the thousands of persons who were killed 75 years ago at the instant of the blasts, those who later died from their injuries, and those who suffered from their injuries. 

We are proceeding with plans to vigil together in a blended manner. Some Friends will meet in person around the Peace Pole at the FCRJ and socially distance so that those in attendance can feel safe while being apart and wearing a mask.  Some Friends will join via Zoom (link below). If you plan on attending this Vigil in person, please e-mail Elizabeth Schneider to reserve a seat.

In-Person Worship at Third Street

Third Street Meetinghouse, early July 2020

At Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business in March 2021, Ithaca Monthly Meeting agreed to re-open our Third Street Meetinghouse for hybrid Meeting for Worship. Revised guidelines for in-person worship were accepted.

If you would like to join us, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Agree to wear a mask the whole time you are in the Meetinghouse and enter through the kitchen (unless you need to use the ramp).
  2. Email Carol Clarke (firetendercarol@yahoo.com) and to let her know you’d like to come – we need to know in advance who is coming.
  3. Enter through the kitchen door and fill out a COVID screening form as you enter (on a table on the right as you enter or a greeter will hand you one).
  4. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after filling out the COVID screening form (there is a hand sanitizer dispenser mounted on the wall by the entrance to the library).
  5. Enter the Meetingroom from the Library and exit the Meetingroom from the other door into the entry hall.
  6. If you use the bathroom, please sanitize the surfaces there before you leave.
  7. Maintain social distance from others as you arrive and as you leave and not to approach anyone at any time in the building – please take conversations outside.

In addition, people may bring a closed container with liquid into the meetinghouse but no food will be consumed there. Only the downstairs of the meetinghouse will be used. During Meeting for Worship, or any other IMM event in the meetinghouse, if there are fewer than 10 people in the meetinghouse, we will open the windows if the temperature is above 50 degrees. If there are 10-20 people in the meetinghouse, we will open the windows if the temperature is above 40 degrees. Otherwise, the windows will remain closed. Our intent is to use common sense while not making Friends uncomfortable unnecessarily.