Scenic Resources Committee
The Town of Ithaca surrounds the City of Ithaca. The north side of Town is in Cayuga Lake, the source of Town municipal water between the Town’s East Shore Park and the Indian Creek Gorge and Lake Slopes Unique Natural Area along the northern east-facing bank of West Hill. Enfield Glen and The Inlet Valley separate West Hill from South Hill. The Six Mile Creek Valley separates South Hill from East Hill. The City’s water reservoir is in the Town above a 60-foot dam. East Hill is drained by Cascadilla Creek and Fall Creek. With its lake, hills, valleys, creeks, brooks, and ravines, Ithaca holds many edges and altitudes where amazing views can be seen. To preserve such spectacular views for residents’ and visitors’ enjoyment, the Scenic Resources Committee (SRC) works to assure that building development does not obscure, and might even enhance, these views.
Since 2007, when it reported to the Town Board its advice in “Saving Ithaca’s Views,” the SRC has worked to realize that Scenic Resources are crucial, valued natural assets in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan (see its section B.4.7 on “Aesthetics and visual quality” in Natural Resources).
The Town’s 2014 “Scenic Resource Inventory and Analysis” () report followed some of our recommendations, and is an important reference in the Comprehensive Plan. As this essential Town document notes, the Town’s scenic beauty “reflects the community’s character and contributes to a ‘sense of place.'” (page B-72–75)
(page 57 from Town’s Scenic Resources Inventory 2014).
The CB’s view sign project, begun as a public outreach campaign recommended to Save Ithaca’s Scenic Views, won a New York State Association of Conservation Commissions’ Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Projects in 2013, after our first interpretive View Sign was installed at East Shore Park.
The SRC’s brochure, “Town of Ithaca Scenic Views map and guide” is available at Town Hall and included on our View Signs at East Shore Park and at the Department of Transportation’s Scenic Pull-off on the Danby Road above Longview.
A third sign in progress for Pine Tree Road at the Snyder Hill intersection also refers to these “Top 10 Scenic Locations.” All three View Signs offer this map with a route for driving or bicycling along Scenic View Ways between these beautiful viewpoints.