Through the lens of environmental justice, the Grinnell Heritage Center provides outdoor experiential opportunities to develop ecological knowledge and lifelong skills such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, resiliency, inclusiveness, and social responsibility.
In addition, the Grinnell Heritage Center builds connections and community for all ages through volunteerism, the arts, and recreational events.
Environmental Education and Nature Exploration: Offer a diverse and inspiring curriculum to raise environmental awareness and provide the tools needed to create a regenerative future.
Foster Greater Resilience in Youth: Foster a sense of community through which youth are encouraged to explore and lead change through collaboration with peers and the greater community, building resilience through play.
Whole Person Health: Offer programming that supports a collaborative approach to environment, self, and community care.
Increase Community Access to Healthy Foods: Increase access to organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables with a mission-driven farm store, collaborative cooking classes, and local farm-focused community meals.
Cultivate Community Connections: Offer a variety of events and opportunities for inclusive community participation aimed at developing greater care for one another and the environment.
Replicate the Grinnell Heritage Center Accomplishments: Pioneering from the Midwest, the Center will partner with other rural communities aligned with our vision and assist in building on the opportunities we see in our landscape.
Educational Activities & Play Spaces
Rental Venue & Farm Store
The Grinnell Heritage Center will provide the greater community with nature and environment-based educational activities and play spaces, including…
After school care
Weekly summer camps
PreK-12 programming integration
Community cooking classes
A nature center
At-risk youth programming
Community walking paths
The Center will serve as a rental venue to create a funding stream to subsidize low-income participants in the community, hosting…
The Center will also address barriers to fresh food by having a small on-site local and organic foods store, featuring fresh and prepared foods.
This integrated systems approach addresses the issues of environmental sustainability and of mental and physical health from multiple angles in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the individual, community, and environment.
YOUTH PROGRAMMING: The building has 5 classrooms with the
capacity to host up to 90 students for nature-based afterschool
programs, educational events, and summer camps. Two of the
classrooms will contain spaces designed for children with autism.
These spaces will also be used to host K-12 classes during the
school day. To assist working-parent households, we will provide
childcare during early release days and school break periods.
WRAP AROUND, AT-RISK YOUTH SERVICES: To address the
mental health access challenges that parents face in our rural
location, the Center will have two dedicated office spaces for
visiting therapists and psychiatrists. Building mental health care
access into the child’s after school or summer schedule removes a
barrier to access for families who are struggling to keep up. Tutoring
and cross-generational mentorship through volunteerism and
community collaborations will provide opportunities for youth to
create positive relationships.
MUSIC LESSONS: Two dedicated music rooms for group and
individual lessons will effortlessly increase access to the arts
through after school and summer programming.
FARM STORE: The farm store will create an outlet for local organic
farmers to sell their products. It will be open to the public six days
a week, with the aim of giving community members access to fresh,
seasonal produce and meats.
ENVIRONMENTAL CURIOSITY ROOM: This room will be
adjacent to the farm store and engage visitors with seasonal nature
displays, activities, games, and artwork to provide information
about our environment and ecosystems, all with the aim to engage
the public and increase curiosity about the natural world.
COMMUNITY KITCHEN: The licensed kitchen will be used for
childcare snack and meal preparations, local foods community meal
prep, catering during event rentals, and fresh food cooking classes
for adults and children.
EVENT & COMMUNITY RENTAL SPACE: The building design will
provide a venue with a seating capacity of 300 for environmental
programs and events. It will also serve as a rental space for
community and private gatherings.
YOUTH EXPERIENTIAL TRIPS: The Center will facilitate and
assist local students grades 6-12 with access to regional and
global environmental learning camps and programs. This will allow
students of all socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to
view the impact and importance of our interconnected ecosystems.
ADULT PROGRAMMING: Adults will be offering cooking classes,
youth mentorship and tutoring opportunities, gardening, nature led
walks, parent groups, naturalist focused bucket courses and more.