Hartley Nature Center Expanding

The Board has been planning for this expansion over the last year.

DULUTH, Minn. – Some big changes are coming to the Hartley Nature Center building in Duluth.

As visitors and students continue to come through the doors, the center is trying to keep up with the demand.

Thousands of children visit Hartley every year for school field trips and plans to add on to the building will allow kids to continue connecting with nature.

The Hartley Nature Center operates out of a 7,500  square foot building that first opened in 2003.

A nature based preschool was added in 2014. And now the center has outgrown it’s current space and plans call for adding another 4,800 square feet.

“You know, expanded classrooms will really help us modestly expand our preschool, expand our summer camp program as well as develop new programs to offer to the community,” said Executive Director Tom O’Rourke. “We haven’t been able to do that because we lack available classroom space.”

Most of the money for this roughly $2 million expansion will be paid for through community fundraising efforts.

Donated property across the street from Hartley will eventually be sold and the proceeds will also go to cover some of the costs.

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