Happy and healthy at Hartley Nature Preschool, which is approaching their 10 year anniversary

A decade of learning and fun at Hartley Nature Preschool

Nearly a decade has now gone by since Hartley Nature Preschool opened up in Duluth.

Nearly a decade has now gone by since Hartley Nature Preschool opened up in Duluth.

The first children attended in the fall of 2014. 16 of them enrolled in half day sessions. They’re now in middle school.

Now, the program has grown to nearly 100 kiddos. They attend September-May, a mix of half or full day sessions.

Kaitlin Erpestad, the director of the preschool, said, “I’m really proud of what a wonderful place this is for children. When you look around, you see children immersed in activities of their choice with the support of caring adults, developing friendships with other children, and relationships with this beautiful land here at Hartley Park.”

Niko, a 5-year-old, told us he likes sledding and running down hills and playing with sticks. And maybe someday, he’ll work for the news! “I want to be a reporter!” he exclaimed.

For teacher Christina White, she said seeing kids who’d born the brunt of the pandemic had some tension in them. But when they are outside, there’s freedom. “I don’t think I could go back to a regular classroom at this point, because I know it’s good for me and I know it’s good for them.”

There are scholarships available to families help pay for preschool.

They are enrolling now for next year, with the deadline to get into the lottery being today, the 31st. You can still get on the wait list as well. Submit an application for the enrollment lottery, and pay the $25 application fee: https://hartleynature.org/hartley-nature-preschool/