Hartley Nature Preschool

2022-23 Enrollment

Thank you for your interest in Hartley Nature Preschool for fall 2022! Applications for the 2022-23 preschool year enrollment lottery will be posted in mid-December 2021. Applications will be due January 31, 2022.

Our Program

Hartley Nature Preschool’s mission is to inspire life-long connections with nature through education, play, and exploration while supporting the whole child’s development and preparing children for school.

HNP is a preschool program that:

  • Serves 3-5 year old children*
  • Emphasizes learning through playing outdoors
  • Supports the development of the whole child
  • Provides children with the chance to develop a lifelong connection with nature
  • Helps children prepare for kindergarten
  • Offers options for 2 or 3 mornings or afternoons a week and 2 full days a week
  • Offers a Tues/Thurs AM class just for three and young four year olds!
  • Operates September-May
  • Is licensed by the MN Department of Human Services as a child care center
  • Has a 4 star Parent Aware Rating!

*Children must be three years old by September 1st and fully toilet-trained to attend preschool

COVID-19 policies and procedures for fall 2021 can be found here.

Our Facility

Hartley Nature Preschool (HNP) is located at Hartley Nature Center in Duluth, MN.

The preschool classrooms, full of lovely natural light and age-appropriate furnishings and materials, are located in the nature center. The nature playscape (natural playground) is located just out the backdoor of the nature center. The preschool also uses the 660 acres of city-owned Hartley Park for learning and play!



What is a nature preschool?

A nature preschool is a:

  • Licensed child-care facility

Where the emphasis is on:

  • Going outside daily in all (safe) weather
  • Learning through play and nature play
  • Child-directed, adult-supported activities
  • Seasonal, place-based curriculum
  • Whole-child development

Information from Green Hearts, Inc.

Information Sessions and Tours

We are not conducting tours of HNP at this time due to COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding.

HNP is a 4 star Parent Aware rated program!

Parent Aware is Minnesota’s voluntary rating system for early childhood programs, including those in centers, homes, schools, and churches. Programs that participate in the Parent Aware rating program at any star level are going above and beyond the basic licensing requirements by taking additional trainings and developing curriculum and family support systems that research shows lead to children’s success in future schooling. Higher levels of rating also mean more state and county scholarship support is available to help each family pay for preschool! Learn more about what the star levels mean: http://parentaware.org/learn/stars-defined/