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Boreal Community Media

Cooperation Station receives Lloyd K. Johnson grant for nature-based program

Oct 20, 2017 05:44AM ● By Editor
Outdoor play is a major theme at Cooperation Station Daycare. Even if it’s a bit nippy outside, the kids are bundled up and taken outside. Above, Karen Kobe, a master naturalist who volunteers, is leading the children through a fun activity. If the world seems to be going a bit crooked lately, these children are trying to steer it back in the right direction through imaginative play. Photo courtesy of Sue Butter

From Staff Reports by The Cook County News Herald - Friday, October 20, 2017

Cooperation Station, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit daycare in Grand Marais, has received a Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation grant in the amount of $36,000 for the further development of its program. The goals of the grant are to focus on providing a quality program in nature-based play, resiliency, and early-childhood development.

Cooperation Station is the only known nature-based program in the region to serve all age groups, including infants and toddlers. The Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation grant will provide specialized training, educational materials and curriculum development to help build and contribute to the sustainability of this vital program in Cook County.

Cooperation Station staff have begun implementing new elements into the program and have taken trips to Duluth to visit programs that belong to the Duluth Nature Play Collaborative, a collection of nature-based preschools that work together to share curriculum and other ideas, said Suzanne Sherman, director of Cooperation Station.

To celebrate receiving this grant, the board, staff and families of Cooperation Station would like to invite the community to come see their revamped space and help in the creation of a mud kitchen on Saturday, October 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

What is a mud kitchen?

Also known as an outdoor kitchen, a mud kitchen is an outdoor play space for kids to use their imaginations and work cooperatively to cook up whatever they can think of, from rock soup to mud pancakes. A mud kitchen provides an incredible opportunity to develop physical skills, language, imaginative play, and encourage social interaction, all while giving kids time and space to move their bodies outside.

Come by 404 5th Ave. W. on this Saturday October 21 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to lend a hand in the creation of the mud kitchen or to simply see the space. A potluck lunch will be served around noon. All are welcome. 

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