Ithaca Snow Angels is a new web app to help facilitate the generous behavior that Ithacans show during the winter. This app connects physically fit snow shovelers in our community with the snowed-in corners that pose obstacles to people's mobility. Ithaca Snow Angels incorporates gamification to make snow shoveling fun and promote this prosocial behavior.
Before- quite an obstacle
After- a welcoming path!
Winters in Ithaca can be magical, with snow blanketing the hillsides and ice forming on creeks and edges of Cayuga Lake. Winter is also difficult to negotiate for many, especially after a large snowfall. A good many of us do our part to shovel in front of our homes, making the sidewalks passable for people on foot. Corners, however, where the sidewalks meet the street, can be challenging to clear because of the large amount of snow that builds up when the plows come through. For some who must scramble through deep snow to get from the sidewalk to the street, or must clamber over ice mounds that often form, uncleared corners are a minor annoyance. But for many, including those with mobility impairments and small children in strollers, an uncleared corner may present an unnavigable obstacle.
Ithaca Snow Angels is a new way to take care of our community and show kindness for our neighbors by helping to clear snow obstacles at corners and curb cuts throughout the city. Folks report the trouble locations, and "Snow Angels" lift a shovel to help clear the way.
If you live, work, play, or just pass through the city it's easy to participate. Navigate to the Ithaca Snow Angels web app to get started. (Additional links below. And be sure to allow locations in your browser.) The program relies on "reporters" as well as shovelers, so anyone can help out. If you see a corner curb cut in need of clearing simply find the corner on the map, click "REQUEST A SNOW ANGEL," take a photo of the spot, and you have logged the corner as a reporter. The corner will be flagged with a red pin and listed as in need of a Snow Angel. Snow Angels looking to help out with shoveling will be alerted to shovel the corner, or you can clear it yourself! Then snap a shot of the cleared curb cut for approval and earn points.
You can shovel out of kindness, to keep fit, or even to compete against your classmates, neighbors, friends and family. See if you can beat the current front runner.
The program only works if you join in! We hope you will help us make Ithaca Snow Angels a fun way to show care for your neighbors and your community.