Sun Ray Nature-Smart Library Wins Community Action Award

Date: May 31st, 2016

Sun Ray Nature-Smart Library Wins Community Action Award
Collaboration transforms a library into a community hub for nature and recreation

Saint Paul, Minn. - The City of Saint Paul's Sun Ray Library, the Children & Nature Network and their partners were selected as a winner for the Sun Ray Nature-Smart Library project at the Environmental Initiative Awards on Thursday, May 26. This program, hosted by the nonprofit Environmental Initiative, annually honors projects that have achieved extraordinary outcomes by harnessing the power of partnership.

The newly renovated Sun Ray Library in Saint Paul is quickly becoming a national model of success in environmental literacy and engagement. The library transformed both its physical environment and programming to serve as a place for families and children to gather, learn, explore, and engage with nature.

"We're used to thinking of reading and learning as something we do inside," said Rebecca Ryan, library manager. "Our natural library is connecting young people and families to the outdoors in a really unique way by pairing the imagination of reading with exploration in nature." The library boasts robust youth and family programming, youth leadership training programs, and collaborative urban greening projects - including a thriving pollinator garden.

 "Collaboration isn't always easy. This project is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished for our environment, for our youth, and for Minnesota families when we choose to work together," says Environmental Initiative's Executive Director, Mike Harley. 

About the Environmental Initiative Awards

Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships with business, government and nonprofit leaders to develop collaborative solutions to Minnesota's environmental problems. The organization has honored collaborative environmental projects through their annual awards program since 1994.