Residents of the Twin Ports have been taking advantage of the beauty that Hartley Nature Center has to offer for years hiking, walking and attending a variety of educational groups and camps for kids. I even know a handful of people who got lost in the deep woods of the nature center which is easy to do as it sits on 660 acres of Hartley Park,  so make sure you know where you are going and have a plan.

But now Hartley has even more to offer with a $2.5 million expansion project which was mostly funded through the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission Legacy Grant funds. Representatives from the park say this addition will give even more people a chance to experience the park. The project is expected to be completed in May of 2022.

Jessica Peterson is the City of Duluth Parks & Recreation Manager, said to FOX21:

To improve access to environmental education. To increase the number of kids who enjoy time in parks. And generally improve citizen access throughout the community and understand what recreational access means to kids and getting outside.

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After the expansion is complete visitors will be able to enjoy new classrooms, a community gathering space, more rental equipment and more parking. This expansion will be a huge boost for the number of summer camps for kids that it holds every summer for thousands of kids.

Being a non profit Hartley relies solely on program fees, memberships, sponsorships, grants and private donations. The pandemic has out the park  $300,000 short of its goal, so they will be having an ongoing fundraiser throughout the eight-month construction of their expansion. For more information on the expansion and to donate, click here.

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