History

The 21st Century

LET IT GROW
Following the Association of Junior Leagues International shift to issue-based community impact, the Junior League of Duluth aligned all programming, grants, and education around a single issue: addressing food insecurity in the Twin Ports Community. Working closely with a number of community partners, we are building a Deep-Winter Greenhouse as well as creating programming around food education and advocacy.

SEEDS FOR PEACE
In 2000, the Junior League of Duluth began teaching a conflict resolution program, called “Seeds for Peace,” to area third-graders. This program consisted of six lessons that were taught in one-hour sessions. Some of the topics included: Understanding Conflict, We Are Not All Alike, Talking Clearly, Listening to Other People, and Resolving Conflict. This program helped reduce bullying and school violence by teaching kids peaceful ways to deal with conflict.

BACKPACKS FOR KIDS
This program helped improve literacy and learning in school-aged children by providing a backpack filled with the necessary supplies to youth in need.

SAFE HAVEN FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER
In 2008, the Junior League of Duluth donated $15,000 to the Safe Haven Family Justice Center.  The Family Justice Center operates as a “one-stop shop” for domestic violence victims and will continue Duluth’s national leadership role in advising and implementing strategies to end family violence.

HARTLEY NATURE CENTER
The Junior League of Duluth donated $10,000 to help purchase supplies and equipment for a new building at Hartley Nature Center.

REBUILDING PLAYFRONT PARK
The Junior League of Duluth rebuilt Playfront on the Bay. This playground was initially built in 1989 as a community project led by JLD. The park needed to be replaced and the Junior League of Duluth made a commitment to the city to raise funds to make this happen. After 2 1/2 years of fundraising and planning, the playground was built the weekend of May 21-23, 2010. The new playground is an Evos design structure that enhances children’s balance, coordination, and strength as well as promotes an active lifestyle for children.

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
The goal of the Junior League of Duluth’s Kids in the Kitchen program is to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues. This program is a community health and wellness program focused on physical activity and nutrition.


1990s

GOOD TOUCH-BAD TOUCH
This program was developed to decrease elementary school children’s vulnerability to sexual abuse.

FIRST WITNESS CHILD ABUSE RESOURCE CENTER
Junior League raised the funds necessary to build First Witness. The First Witness program provides a team of professionals who utilize an interviewing protocol and forensic medical exam for child sexual abuse cases. The First Witness Building allows for the interviews and exams to be conducted in a non-threatening environment.

PLAYFRONT PARK
Developed and constructed in 1990 by Junior League of Duluth and is located near Bayfront on the Duluth waterfront. It provides a safe playground in the center of the city and is the most heavily used park in the city. Playfront consisted of slides, swings, a sand box, and a fun house. It is the most used park in the City of Duluth park system. This park was reconstructed in 2010.

WEEK WITHOUT VIOLENCE/DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
Recognizes and remembers the victims of domestic violence through a march and/or program with Silent Witnesses (silhouettes representing six local victims). In 1998, JLD co-sponsored a speaker, David Walsh, PhD, who discussed the influence of media and violence in children. The YWCA coordinates the annual Week Without Violence held in October. The goal of the week is to create a safe community by highlighting and celebrating community efforts to prevent violence.

PLAYFAIR DISCOVERY 
Playfair originally traveled to neighborhood meeting places to create a safe place to play, then went a step beyond and built conflict resolution skills. JLD provided a permanent location for children to come and play and learn conflict resolution. Playfair is currently located in the Depot.

McGRUFF HOUSE
The program provides a temporary haven for children who find themselves in an emergency or frightening situation, such as being bullied, followed or hurt while walking in a neighborhood.

KBJR WOMEN’S EXPO
An annual event held in March that provides information and education for women and girls. In conjunction with the Expo, JLD helped sponsor the event with a speaker. Past speakers have been Mary Pipher, David Elkind, and actress/cancer-survivor Ann Jillian.

LPGA GIRLS GOLF CLUB 
A local program that is part of a national effort to introduce girls to the game of golf. Clinics are held on Monday mornings June-August.


1980s

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB
JLD started its support of this organization in 1981 and has provided volunteers on an on-going basis. The program was started in 1970 to promote decency and prevent delinquency through services geared to providing behavioral guidance and promotion of Health, Social, Educational, Vocational and Character Development of Boys and Girls.

PROJECT SOAR 
The purpose of this project is to facilitate women’s access to self-employment options and opportunities, by providing resources, information, training, feed-back, and technical assistance.

NORTH COUNTRY RIDE 
North Country Ride provides therapeutic horseback riding to persons with physical handicaps and to promote interest in and financial support for therapeutic riding.

Y-FRIENDS AND YMCA HEALTHY BODIES, HEALTHY MINDS
The Healthy Body, Healthy Minds program addresses some key developmental issues for girls ages 12-15. It helps girls develop self-respect through mentoring.


1970s

GLENSHEEN DOCENT
The docent program at Glensheen was started by JLD; docents give tours of Glensheen Mansion.  Gleensheen was donated by the Congdon family and is now open to the public for tours.


1960s

TWEED MUSEUM DOCENTS 
JLD continued its commitment to the Tweed Museum of Art, including establishing the Tweed Gallery Enrichment and Docent Program. Located at the University of Minnesota Duluth, the Tweed Museum offers artists throughout the world an opportunity to display their works.

FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE SOO LINE DEPOT 
JLD participated in the study for use of the Depot as a cultural facility. The Depot now provides cultural and historic events for the community.

DULUTH ART INSTITUTE 
JLD joined forces for a project with the Duluth Art Institute. For nearly 100 years, the Institute has served our community as a center to create, display, explore, and enjoy visual art.  The Institute offers studio space along with a variety of opportunities to display works of art.


1950s

REHABILITATION CENTER
Now known as the Polinsky Rehabilitation Center, a part of St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic, the Rehabilitation Center was incorporated and funded in part by JLD fundraisers. The Center provides therapy for any adult or child that may be in physical need.

For more information on the Center please visit Essentia Health’s website here.


1940s

JLD was active in several national war programs. It staffed the CARE office at City Hall five days per week.


1930s

Development of the Duluth Mental Hygiene Clinic, which is now known as the Human Development Center, and serves thousands of people in the Northland and northern Wisconsin.


1920s

Junior League of Duluth became affiliated with the Association of Junior Leagues International.