Nature Play Area Virtual Unveiling

Celebrate Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day Banner

In honor of Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day, September 29, 2020, we unveiled the Nature Play Area at Old Cedar Avenue! While the celebration was virtual, we now encourage you to get outside and explore all the Nature Play Area has to offer! Visit today!

  • Community in the Wild

    Children sitting on log by Sarena Selbo/USFWS

    Join our community in the wild to celebrate Urban National Wildlife Refuges, and share your own stories by using hashtag #CommunityInTheWild!

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  • Welcome!

    Old Cedar Avenue Trail head sign

    Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a thriving urban refuge where nature connects people, wildlife and communities. Our new nature play area is a great showcase of the creativity urban refuges provide to meet the needs of the families we serve.  Meet Refuge Manager, Sarena Selbo, and Latinx Family Liaison, Oscar Hernandez, for a welcome to this special piece of nearby nature.

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  • What is a nature play area?

    Playing at Nature Play Area by Thia Xiong/USFWS

    We’ve created a play environment that consists of elements and textures from the earth such as logs, full sized downed trees, boulders, and native plants, instead of a traditional playground structure that includes slides and climbers. Our hope is to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders by providing a space to learn and explore.

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  • Building a Nature Play Area

    Skidsteer working at Nature Play Area

    Have you ever wondered how a nature play area is made? With natural materials of course and a lot of helping hands! Read the full story to learn what went into restoring this overgrown gravel pit into a beautiful play area for all to enjoy.

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  • Virtual Tour


    Come along on a virtual tour of the Nature Play Area. Your next adventure starts here!

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  • Featured Artists


    Art is a spectacular way to connect to nature.  Meet the artists, Christopher Harrison and Emma Laskowski, the creative minds behind the new public art pieces located at the Nature Play Area.

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  • Little Library


    Meet the Nature In Your Neighborhood Little Free Library. This is the refuge's first little library! This library features a selection of environmental-themed children's books. Take one to go!

  • Plan Your Visit

    Observing wildflowers by Thia Xiong/USFWS

    Location: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
    Old Cedar Avenue Bridge and Trailhead
    9898 Old Cedar Avenue S
    Bloomington, MN 55425

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