Hartley Nature Center Expansion

DULUTH, Minn. — We got an inside look at the new multimillion dollar building expansion of Duluth’s Hartley Nature Center.

This $2.9 million dollar project was outlined in the 2014 Hartley Park Master Plan. It features new restrooms, community gathering centers, parking, and park-wide signage. The classrooms will also be upgraded to help nurture the educational component of their operations.

They tend to have wait lists with camps and programs, and these new facilities will help them expand operations to more students, and visitors.

Also, the new addition will add 24 new preschool spots to the Northland during a time, Hartley officials say, when childcare programs are at capacity.

“Hartley’s mission is to inspire lifelong connections with nature through education, play and exploration, so this is really our home base and jumping off point for adventures and learning in 660 acre Hartley Park,” Tom O’Rourke, Executive Director at Hartley Nature Center said.

As the project was a multi-year operation with a hefty price tag, it was made possible with funding from the City of Duluth, The Hartley Nature Center, and the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission.

“Hartley park is a legacy designated asset which means it has special funding sources available to improve the park as a whole as well as the building, so we’re especially grateful for the greater Minnesota Regional Parks And Trails Commission for that funding which really jump started the project as a whole,” Jessica Peterson, Parks And Recreation Manager for the City Of Duluth said.

The expansion should be complete by June, and the Hartley Nature Center is excited to welcome over a thousand students to their programs this summer.

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