Each quarter, GreenStar selects three local not-for-profits to be the recipients of our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program donations. Our BYOB program encourages shoppers to bring their own bags by providing them with a token worth 5¢ that they can donate to one of the chosen organizations. At the end of the quarter, we make a donation to the groups based on the number of tokens given by our customers. This quarter, our recipients are the Natural Leaders Initiative, the Friends of Stewart Park, and Wild Things Animal Sanctuary.

In the 1890s, the Ithaca Street Railway opened Renwick Park, a beautiful lakefront destination. In 1921, the City of Ithaca purchased the park and opened it for public use. Now, as we approach the park’s centennial as a city-owned public park on July 4, 2021, Friends of Stewart Park (FSP) and the City of Ithaca are preparing the park to launch into its next hundred years! FSP is a public nonprofit organization formed in 2011 to spearhead the revitalization of Stewart Park. FSP is committed to ensuring that Ithaca’s lakefront park and trail is a beautiful and welcoming destination for everyone to enjoy.

In mid-September 2018, FSP held a Community Build of the area’s first Accessible Playground. Over six days, twelve hours a day, and in three shifts a day, over 900 volunteers and 45 organizations worked alongside playground design firm Play by Design to create the pre-school sections of a new playground for children of all abilities. This beautifully-designed inclusive playground will dramatically enhance Stewart Park as a regional destination for families, individuals, children of all ages, and visitors. Phase II of the playground build, coming soon, will feature a large, school-age structure, a long, gently-sloped berm that connects to the play structure at different elevations, culminating at the Cayuga Lake Overlook, a new Splash Pad, new winterized and accessible bathrooms in their own attractive building adjacent to the Splash Pad and a protective cover for the Carousel.

Future projects include restoration of the Cascadilla Boathouse, a local landmark that has been in use since 1896 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, renovations to the historic Wharton Pavilion – also known as the Wharton Studio building, and the creation of a lake-front performance plaza. For more information on the Friends of Stewart Park, or to volunteer for projects, visit their website.

Are you involved with a not-for-profit organization that might benefit from this program? Apply to be a recipient here.