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More than 200 campers will experience nature thanks to the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, the Play, Learn, Serve, Work Initiative, Wilderness Inquiry, Urban Roots, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Saint Paul, MN – The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, will partner with the City of Saint Paul and the National Park Service to host, for the third year, three week-long day camps at Lake Phalen (one week) and Hidden Falls Regional Park (two weeks) as part of the Saint Paul Connecting Children to Nature Initiative.

More than 200 campers from nearby communities will experience nature thanks to support from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation; the Play, Learn, Serve, Work Initiative; Wilderness Inquiry; Urban Roots; Mississippi National River and Recreation Area; and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Youth will come from the Salvation Army, Hallie Q. Brown, Hancock Recreation Center and the Midway YMCA and Eastside St. Paul YMCA. 

In partnership with the National Park Service, campers will work with park rangers to learn about the city’s water source and how to take care of it. Additional activities for the week will include biking with the Police Activities League, nature hikes, fort building, fishing, arts and crafts, environmental education, camp games, canoeing, climbing and service projects from the Saint Paul National Resource Department. 

"We're excited to partner with the YMCA to provide Saint Paul kids with opportunities to experience our beautiful natural surroundings," said Mayor Melvin Carter. "Connecting our young people to the outdoors helps us create the next generation of environmental stewards.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with the City of Saint Paul, the National Park Service and the Saint Paul Resource Department to provide this opportunity to youth in our community,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. “Having access to nature and providing meaningful outdoor experiences away from TV and computer screens decreases stress, improves overall health and helps youth build confidence and make new friends.”

Gunderson added this is just one way the Y is asking the community to “Get Outdoors” as part of the Y’s nature initiative to combat nature deficit and reduce screen time. There are a variety of options for the community to get in touch with nature at the Y including self-guided walking tours at camps, field trips, outdoor play areas at Y child care centers and mobile day camps in urban parks to provide more access to more youth.

WHO:
YMCA, City of Saint Paul and the National Park Service with support from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, the Play, Learn, Serve, Work Initiative, Wilderness Inquiry, Urban Roots, Saint Paul Police Activities League, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

WHAT:
Lake Phalen Day Camp
Hidden Falls Day Camp 

WHERE: 
Lake Phalen Regional Park, 1600 Phalen Drive in Saint Paul, MN 55106
Hidden Falls Regional Park at 1313 Hidden Falls Drive in Saint Paul, MN 55116

WHEN:

Lake Phalen

  • July 23 – 26 (Monday-Thursday) from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Hidden Falls

  • July 29 – August 1 (Monday-Thursday) from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • August 5 – 8 (Monday-Thursday) from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Activities every day: Nature play and hikes, fishing, arts and crafts, biking with the Saint Paul Police Activities League environmental and waste education, and service projects from the City of Saint Paul, the National Park Service and Saint Paul Natural Resource Department

Additional activities on specific days:
Water Quality Education – Monday to Thursday
Biking (Police Activities League) – July 22-25 (Phalen) and August 5 – August 8 (Hidden Falls)
Climbing Wall – Monday (Phalen); Tuesday (Hidden Falls)
Native Prairie Habitat Study and Service Project – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
Canoeing (Wilderness Inquiry) - Thursday

About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 163 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across 12 counties of the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 28 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.