We serve students in visiting college classes; green building professionals focused on energy, housing and municipal planning; and beginning farmers creating sustainable land-based livelihoods.

Learn@EcoVillageIthaca Experiential Learning Programs help people  to:

  • gain a new vision and hope for how humans can live together in partnership with the planet

  • understand the link between social justice and ecological sustainability

  • experience a sense of belonging to the land and to a learning community

  • develop specific skills and knowledge to apply in their own lives and work

  • be motivated to take action when they get home

Green Building and Design Professionals

Net-Zero Energy Building Design – November 6 and 7, 2017

Want to learn what it takes to achieve net-zero? This two-day training at EcoVillage Ithaca is offered twice a year and focuses on design and construction details to achieve net-zero energy use in new buildings – both residential and commercial. frog_ch_solarCo-sponsored by the US Green Building Council NY Upstate Chapter, Taitem Engineering and Learn@EcoVillage, the training is especially for architects, engineers, builders, building owners, and community developers.  The American Institute of Architects will offer 14 Learning Units  for those who complete the training. Some scholarships are available for students, women, and under-represented groups.

Join Ian Shapiro, founder of Taitem Engineering and co-author of the book Green Building Illustrated (Wiley, 2014) and Liz Walker, co-founder of EcoVillage Ithaca and Executive Director of its educational arm, Learn@EcoVillage, as they address fundamentals and strategies for zero energy design, and showcase net-zero buildings at EcoVillage.

Workshops are announced three months in advance: The next Net Zero workshop is scheduled for November 6 and 7, 2017.

To register, click here:

News on Past Workshops: Net Zero Energy


We currently offer programs to the following audiences:

Visiting College/University Classes

Green Building and Design Professionals

Past Programs:

Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming

EPA Climate Showcase Community 2011-2014


Visiting College/University Classes

Every year we host over 200 students and faculty for anywhere from two-hour tours (dips), to half or full-day workshops (“dunks”) to five-day immersion experiences (“dives”). We offer hands on experiences on a wide variety of sustainability topics including:

  • Green Building
  • Biochar
  • Permaculture
  • Food and Farming
  • Governance
  • Human-Environment relations
  • Hands-On Nature Connection
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Eco-Psychology
  • Communication
  • Composting

Our programs continue to gain momentum locally and internationally with groups visiting us from as close as Ithaca College and Cornell University to SUNY Potsdam, Montclair State University and as far away as Nihon University in Japan.

Students come from classes and majors as diverse as Social Work, Architectural Design, Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Human Ecology, Environmental Studies and Sustainable Communities

Take a look at the options below and decide which experience is right for your students. Curriculum can be tailored to each group.

Dip: Overview Tour (1.5 – 2 hours)

This brief introduction includes a walk through 1 or 2 neighborhoods, visiting inside a EVI Tour Aug smallhome, learning a bit about cohousing, passive solar building design and community gardens. You’ll also meet some residents who are also trained volunteer tour guides.

Fees: Group rates for 5 to 25 visitors: $15/person for students, $20/person for professionals for 1.5 hours with a $50 deposit in advance.

Dunk: In-depth Custom Tour (half-day & full day options)

This is a “See and Do” experience with a focus on specific topics, and optional hands-on activities. Content may include green building, energy, farming, social justice and sustainability, community development, permaculture or healthy communication. Catered lunch or dinner of local foods is available for groups of 10 or larger.

  • Sample Half Day Tour – Farming and Food Focus
    1 – 2:30pm  Overview of EcoVillage, Visit 2 different neighborhoods and a Home.
    2:30 – 4:30pm  1 mile walking tour of Community Gardens, Chickens, Root Cellar, Kitchen facilities. Snack Break at Common House. Farm visit with optional hands-on garden or farm activity (in season).
    4:30 – 5:00pm  Q&A, Reflections and Appreciation circle back at Common House

  •  Sample Full Day Tour – Green Building Focus
    10 – 12:00pm  Overview of EcoVillage, discussion about green building strategies and metrics of village energy use. Visit FROG district heating center and 50 KW solar array. Indoor home tour to observe passive solar features.
    12:00 – 1:30pm  Lunch in Common House. Presentation on straw bale construction.
    1:30 – 3:30pm  Intro to Passive House design with tour of TREE neighborhood
    3:30 – 5:00pm 1 mile walking tour including farms, and land use planning features. followed by Reflections and Appreciation circle back at Common House

Fees: $30/person for half day, $60/person for full day. Meals additional. Minimum group size is five people.  Please schedule 4 weeks in advance. 30% deposit.

“My visit far exceeded my hopes and expectations. This whole semester at college, I’ve been exploring alternative styles of living, and EcoVillage has by far been the most appealing option. The strength and intentionality of this community is beyond what I could ever imagine.” Student SUNY Potsdam

Dive: In-depth Experience (2 day to 5 day options)

Dives include at least one overnight, and allow for an powerful immersion experience. Price varies according to amount of time. Accomodations range from inexpensive camping options to home-stays to full price B&Bs on-site. Program options include workshops, service learning projects, interaction with community members, preparing local food meals, and more.

  • Sample Immersion Experience

Fees: Start at $150/person for 2 day immersion program. Meals and lodging additional. Minimum group size is ten people. Please schedule 8 weeks in advance. 30% deposit.

The [5 day] program was an excellent balance between the physical environmental aspects and the social and community dynamics. It worked very well… Can’t wait to return.” – Heather Sullivan-Catlin, Professor, SUNY Potsdam, Sustainable Communities class trip

Ask us about AASHE STARS Credits

Plan your visit to EcoVillage Ithaca.
Contact our Visit Coordinator.

EPA Climate Showcase Community 2011-2014 welcome home logo

In partnership with the Tompkins County planning department, this three-year EPA-funded project, community that works project, documented and shared the best practices learned over twenty years of developing EcoVillage at Ithaca. It demonstrates how we can form the built environment around the human scale, walking pace and social needs of people.  And how green building and mixed land use are technologically and economically feasible.

Targeting builders, developers and municipal officials, we helped to apply these practices to new residential development in a more mainstream setting. The Aurora Pocket Neighborhood,  the Amabel community, in Ithaca, NY, created a dense neighborhood that enhances residents’ quality of life while using fewer resources.

City planners involved in the EPA project also gained our assistance in writing Pedestrian Neighborhood Zoning code recommendations, along with a cottage ordinance which applies the same principles to smaller infill sites.

EPA Climate Showcase Community That Works