2023: A Year of Celebrations for the Ithaca Youth Bureau and Cass Park
This year, the Ithaca Youth Bureau (YB) celebrates 75 years of service to the Ithaca community and the Cass Park Pool turns 50 years old! The Youth Bureau has touched many people’s lives over the last 75 years and looks forward to another 75 years of serving youth and families.
The YB is kicking off their 75th year with newly updated mission, vision, and values statements that will guide us into the future.
Mission: The Ithaca Youth Bureau (including Cass Park) offers participants from all backgrounds, walks of life, identities, abilities and lived experiences a broad range of recreation and youth development services, supports, and opportunities to enable them to thrive.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Vision: At the Ithaca Youth Bureau, we model inclusive collaboration, recognition, and restorative practices with participants, families, volunteers, and employees alike, so that people from all identities and lived experiences feel valued, heard, included, and celebrated.
Values: We believe that all people can be physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy, and socially and civically engaged. We see participants and families as valued partners who have meaningful decision-making roles in our programs and the community. We strive to offer experiential learning and hands-on activities that are equitable and welcoming. It is important that our programs promote skill development, foster positive relationships, and build a sense of community and belonging.
The Ithaca Youth Bureau was created in 1948 by a resolution of the Common Council charged with the mission of providing youth programs in the community. The Youth Bureau was one of six original agencies established under the New York State Youth Commission Act. Under that 1948 act, the current state umbrella agency for youth bureaus, the Division for Youth, still provides funds to the city toward the cost of youth programming.
Cass Park Pool opened in 1973 and is one of few outdoor Olympic size pool in our region. During the summer season Cass Pool offers public swimming, swim lessons, lap swimming and hosts various groups and local summer camps. A kiddie or wading pool sits adjacent to the larger pool making the Cass Park Pool the place to be in the summer for all ages. Jim D’Alterio, Deputy Director, enjoys seeing children learn to swim, “One of the most exciting things for kids is passing the deep end swim test which gives them access to the entire pool including the diving board, slide and hours of fun,” he said.
Throughout 2023, the Youth Bureau plans to offer events and share stories that highlight and celebrate 75 years of service and 50 years of swimming. The Youth Bureau offers a wide range of youth development and recreation programming that has benefited young people and been enjoyed by many over the years.
“Often our volunteer sport coaches played in Youth Bureau leagues when they were young and have returned to coach their own children in the same program!” Youth Bureau Director Liz Klohmann said. "It is not uncommon for YB and Cass participants to return to the Youth Bureau in their late teens or after college to work with us.” For many, Youth Bureau programs, services and the Cass Park Pool have been a mainstay of their childhood experiences.
Check out IYB & Cass Park social media to stay up to date on information about events celebrating the Youth Bureau: https://www.ithacayouthbureau.org/ https://www.facebook.com/ithacayouthbureau Cass Park Pool: https://www.casspark.org/ https://www.facebook.com/CassParkRinkandPool https://www.instagram.com/cassparkrinkpool/