Tracker Pixel for Entry

Nature of the North: Bringing People Inside to Get Them Outside

by John Showalter | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | February 5th, 2020

photo provided by John Showalter - Nature of the North - Construction of Fargo-MoorheadYs first-ever retail rock and bouldering wall is underway.  The bouldering wall will be open to the public for use spring of 2020.

A lot of us may sigh and roll our eyes when our parents or grandparents chastise us for spending too much time attached to our electronic devices. There may be a grain of truth in their complaints, however. According to the Outdoor Foundation’s 2019 Outdoor Participation Report, almost half of Americans did not go outdoors for recreation. We went on one billion fewer outdoor outings in 2018 than in 2008. How should this loss of passion for the great outdoors be addressed? According to Jon Walters, founder of Nature of the North in Moorhead, the answer may be a bit paradoxical.

“Nature of the North’s goal is to get people outside,” said Walters. “In this area we all know the winter months can take up half of a year, and we realized, in order to get people outside, we should consider bringing the inside, in.” Since 2016, Nature of the North has hosted workshops at various places in the local community, like Wild Terra Cider and Front Street Taproom, to improve people’s knowledge of the outdoors and outdoor activities. Other events that have been hosted by Nature of the North include Tent Fest put on by the non-profit Longspur Prairie Fund and the Aronia Berry Harvest Festival last summer.

Walters’ love for the outdoors extends all the way back to his childhood. He grew up on the outskirts of town, away from the relative hustle and bustle of downtown Fargo. Even as an infant, his parents would take him out camping. That passion for the outdoor life continued when he became a member of the Boy Scouts. It was on a Boy Scout camping trip in the back country of Canada that he knew being an outdoorsman was his calling. “It changed something,” he said.

Before founding Nature of the North, Walters spent approximately five years working in human resources recruiting talent. “I needed to showcase the good things around here and sell people on the city,” said Walters. When he founded Nature of the North and started offering local workshops he found an outlet to apply those skills to something he had been passionate about his entire life. “There are a lot of outdoor groups around here, but not a lot of overlap,” said Walters. “We want to build our entire outdoor community. We want to be a little bit of everything.” With a social media presence on Facebook approaching 2,500 followers, he is certainly making progress in that regard.

The giant step forward for Nature of the North, however, will be moving beyond just workshops. In spring of this year, the company will be opening its first brick and mortar location in Moorhead. One of the main attractions? The first ever retail rock climbing wall in the Fargo-Moorhead area. “This is the first rock wall that is completely open to the public,” said Walters. “You don’t need a membership, or an appointment, or even pre-qualification or training.”

That will hardly be the only draw to their physical location, however. Naturally, there will be workshops teaching valuable outdoor skills, as well as film screenings. They will also host other planned events such as hikes. Additionally, there will be a small selection of gear available for rental, with plans to increase the stock and variety available as Nature of the North continues to grow.

It all relates to the paradoxical statement about the best way to get people outdoors is bringing them indoors. According to Walters, the biggest barriers to people engaging in more outdoor activities are not having access to the proper tools, lack of skills, and planning concerns. With its selection of services, Nature of the North hopes to not only bring people with similar interests together to break down those barriers, but to teach them the skills necessary and overcome the financial and logistical challenges to being properly prepared for serious outdoor excursions.

Don’t own the proper equipment? Rent it. Don’t know how to properly use that equipment or otherwise hack it in the vast expanse of nature? Get informed. Not sure how to plan a trip so it doesn’t end in disaster? Get some guidance. Those are the kind of services that Nature of the North wants to offer the community, and by breaking ground on a new location, they are certainly setting themselves up to do so. 

Recently in:

by Meg Luther Lindholmmlutherlindholm@gmail.comWho was it that said that the health of a city can be measured by the health and well-being of its children? If no one else has made that claim – then I’m making it now. And to…

Valentine’s Day can inspire annoying questions if you’re single and the spending of a whole lot of time or money if you’re not. So shake up the old routine with fun, unusual and affordable (or even free) activities. Feel free…

Sunday, February 23, 8pmThe Aquarium, 226 N Broadway, FargoAnchorage based Indie heroes Termination Dust will grace the stage of the Aquarium with Minneapolis based Double Grave with local support from Disappear Forever and Shrug.

Editorial

Art for our sake

by Sabrina Hornung

Last week North Dakota made national news again and it wasn’t anything for us to be proud of… again. Our friend, collaborator and fellow artist Shane Balkowitsch proposed a 7’ photo mural of Swedish climate change activist…

Two Devastating Swarms ‘Tis the season when billions of locusts swarm across Northern Africa and Southern Asia creating famines. A single swarm with as many as 70 billion who transform themselves from avoiding other locusts to a…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

It goes without saying that Valentine’s Day is the most profitable of all the holidays and the one with the most tortured history, literally. It is confusing how an ancient Roman festival that involved sacrificing animals and…

Back in January, KRFF Radio Free Fargo was going to have a benefit concert featuring the metal band Witchden from Minneapolis. Fargo got hit with a massive blizzard that just so happened the weekend of the concert. However, as the…

Stella Meghie writes and directs “The Photograph,” a romantic drama that weaves together the cross-generational journeys of a mother and daughter finding themselves with and without the love that might otherwise nurture and…

This weekend, the 10th Annual Unglued Craft Fest will be held at the Plains Art Museum, featuring over 70 local and regional artists selling handmade items. Though most are Fargo-Moorhead residents, artists from Minneapolis, Sioux…

The Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT) is continuing to move forward as they wait to see what the future holds for the building located at 333 4th Street S. in Fargo. FMCT made two moves over the past several weeks, including…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comA Paloma Cocktail recipe is refreshing, easy, and a great way to celebrate one of the best citrus fruits available. Move over margaritas, because this simple tequila recipe can be put together in…

Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“Donald Trump sits on a wall; But Donald Trump fears a great fall.All would-be king’s horsemen, and would-be king’s men; Still keep him propped up there, again and again.” - Chicago Dog, 2/2/20 Step #5. Remember…