Hartley Nature Center announced Thursday that it secured a million-dollar grant for its building expansion.
The center is the recipient of a $1 million grant from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission, which will be used toward its capital campaign, which will expand programming and better meet community needs, a news release said.
A 6,000-square-foot building addition will include two new classrooms, new restrooms, community gathering space, reimagined exhibit hall, expanded equipment rental, and additional office and storage space.
To date, the capital campaign has secured $1.8 million of the $2.5 million needed to complete the project. Hartley Nature Center intends to complete the fundraising in the coming months, with construction to follow, according to a news release.
"We are thrilled and thankful for this grant award," said Tom O'Rourke, executive director of Hartley Nature Center. "Now more than ever it's critical to help people build deeper connections with nature, children especially. The building expansion will allow our core programs to grow while providing space for us to develop new offerings for the community."
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission also funded $293,795 for the implementation of aspects of the Hartley Park Master Plan. This includes trail and accessibility improvements, wayfinding and signage, and parking and pedestrian access improvements at the nature center.
Last year, Hartley Nature Center provided programs for over 10,000 people from throughout the region, including many early childhood and school-aged children, a news release said.
A news conference to give more details about the capital campaign and the recent grant award will be held Friday, Nov. 8 at 10:30 p.m.