Support Our Capital Campaign

Step Outside Campaign

  • Hartley Nature Center is the only fully staffed and programmed nature center within Duluth’s 11,000 acres of green space and 129 public parks. 
  • Over 200,000 people from around the region use Hartley Nature Center and the surrounding park and trails every year. 
  • Community demand for conservation, education, and programming around nature and the environment has far outpaced the capacity of Hartley Nature Center’s current facility. 


Now more than ever, it is vital for our community to come together around our common values of protecting nature and the environment. Hartley has long been a focal point of nature education, and has grown and evolved over the years to meet community needs. 


Exploration and education are at the heart of Hartley Nature Center’s mission. We believe people of all ages should have the space and encouragement to explore nature to the fullest. Hartley’s proposed expansion will allow us to continue to expand existing programming, reestablish partnerships which have lacked facility space in recent years, and develop innovative program offerings to serve new audiences. 


Despite Duluth’s abundant green space, there are obstacles for many to take full advantage of Duluth’s parks and trails. Hartley Nature Center’s expanded facilities will include improved park wayfinding and visitor orientation, increased availability of nature center staff, and expanded equipment rentals with modest fees–removing barriers to participation. 


Protection of our natural world is more important than ever. We hope that visitors’ experiences at Hartley Nature Center encourage them to find the right way for them to get involved in preserving and protecting our natural world. Improved Hartley Nature Center facilities are designed as a gathering place to support conversations around individual and collective action.

Campaign Objectives

  • Provide extraordinary community opportunities through a 5,200 square foot addition to Hartley Nature Center’s current facility. 
  • Add classrooms and restrooms, expand community gathering and meeting spaces, and improve equipment rental. 
  • Continue to be a regional leader in nature based programming and park and trail stewardship. Serve as a welcoming gateway to nature for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

For more information, or to discuss a donation to the Step Outside Campaign, please contact:

Tom O’Rourke
Executive Director