A new trail for pre-kindergarten children has opened in Waseca.

Partnering with Thrivent and the city of Waseca, the Greater Mankato Area United Way hosted a ribbon cutting of the Born Learning Trail last Wednesday at Northeast Park in Waseca. Featuring 10 signs and painted sidewalk graphics, the Born Learning Trail is meant to foster a fun, educational experience for children before they go on to kindergarten.

The Born Learning campaign is meant to provide communities with everyday moments to boost school readiness for children ages 2-5, according to Tricia Stenberg, the special activities and relationships director at the Greater Mankato Area United Way. The trail features signs offering activities that parents and caregivers can engage in with their young children, including one that asks, “Is your child pointing at something? Ask, ‘What do you see?’”

While the trail was originally planned to be installed last August, the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to postpone, and the city of Waseca was not able to install it until the end of last fall. By that point, with cold weather and rising COVID case numbers, they were not able to host a true opening of the trail.

With the weather improving, though, Stenberg said they are excited to have young kids start enjoying the trail and be excited about learning.

While Waseca is one of four counties that the nonprofit serves, Stenberg said they wanted to start in Waseca with their first Born Learning Trail. Part of the choice for this location “is a way for us to make our presence known here,” she said.

Reach Reporter Julian Hast at 507-333-3133. © Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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