City of Rochester Park & Recreation
In 1965, the City of Rochester purchased the land that is now Quarry Hill Park from the State of Minnesota. In 1972, the Nature Center was constructed through a community-wide fundraising effort spearheaded by the local Kiwanis Club and the desire of the Rochester Public Schools to provide science education in an immersive outdoor environment. Through this, the partnership between The Friends of Quarry Hill Nature Center and the City of Rochester Park and Recreation Department began.
Today, the City of Rochester owns and maintains the park and buildings and the Friends of Quarry Hill provide environmental education programming, a public nature exploration hall and passive recreation resources for the general public.
Rochester Public Schools
Our partner from the very beginning – it was the work of Rochester Public School science teachers in the late 1960’s that set the course for all that Quarry Hill Nature Center is today. Our teachers today, just as their predecessors, see the tremendous value and the educational impact of bringing classroom science concepts to life in the greatest laboratory of all – the great outdoors.
Working with the districts educators in the Office of Curriculum and Instruction, we ensure our curriculum classes are aligned to Minnesota State Science standards and provide students the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in engaging, hands-on, inquiry based lessons that bring science to life.
Rochester Public Schools provide partial staffing of licensed science teachers and professional educators to provide science enrichment courses for each K-8 student in the district twice a year.
We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Rochester Public Schools in educating area youth in the natural sciences and moving forward our shared commitment to inspire, challenge and empower all students with the knowledge and skills required to reach their full potential, to contribute to future generations, and to become involved members of a global community.
United Way of Olmsted County
Working together for 14 years, the United Way of Olmsted County supports Quarry Hill Nature Center's Olmsted Outdoors program This program provides scholarships for low-income and at-risk students to participate in outdoor science enrichment activities offered by the Nature Center such as after school programs and summer nature camp.
In addition, the United Way supports a joint program of the Friends of Quarry Hill and the Boys and Girls Club called Teen Ascent.