4th Grade Class from Laporte Enjoys Field Trip to Deep Portage

Written by: Steve Booth, 4th grade teacher at Laporte Public School

"Best ever field trip!" and "I can't wait to go back!" were some of the reactions from students after a recent overnight field trip to the Deep Portage Environmental Learning Center near Hackensack. Teachers accompanied the students along with several volunteer parents and a grandparents.

The April trip was planned last fall and archery and canoeing were originally on the schedule, but with the extension of snow and winter this season, the trip was modified to include winter survival skills and a group snow chase game.

Fourth graders were outdoors in 10 degree temperatures building shelters in small groups from natural materials and collecting combustible materials and learning the best way to build a one match fire.

Later in the day all 34 students were on the Deep Portage indoor climbing wall, challenging themselves with rock climbing skills 30 feet up, assisted by several staff who let …

Incarcerated Women Receive Doula Services in Beltrami County

Each woman experiences pregnancy differently. It’s a time of physiological changes and months of anticipation, planning, and preparation. However, for women who are serving time behind bars, it can be a very isolating experience. There is a stigma around women who have been convicted of crimes, and their needs are often overlooked while they are serving a sentence. Luckily, women of the Minnesota Prison Doula Project are here to advocate for and support this underserved population.

The Minnesota Prison Doula Project started in 2008 with a mission to provide pregnancy and parenting support for incarcerated women. Trained doulas provide birth support as well as group-based and individual education to pregnant women and mothers. The goal is to nurture healthy mother-child relationships and increase parenting confidence and skills. Currently the project is operating in seven facilities in Minnesota. They have been working under the University of Minnesota Foundation, but will soon be lau…

Impact 20/20: Day at the Capitol 2018

Members of IMPACT 20/20 recently spent the day at the State Capitol engaging lawmakers about the issues impacting economic prosperity and growth in Northwest Minnesota.

IMPACT 20/20 is an influential group of Northwest Minnesota leaders representing diverse interests and working together for the region’s economic success. Established in 2008, IMPACT 20/20 members have worked collaboratively to improve economic conditions in the region by focusing on four key areas: education, workforce, broadband, and housing. The goal of the visit was to highlight issues in these key areas and offer legislative solutions to help grow the economy of Northwest Minnesota.

IMPACT 20/20 raised awareness and discussed policy statements around access to high speed broadband and its importance in rural communities, the critical shortage of child care in our region and the impact it is having on families and employers, ideas to spur workforce and affordable housing projects in our region, and ideas to provid…

Super Bowl LII Leaves A Legacy for Northwest Minnesota

Minneapolis was a focal point for thousands of fans, celebrities, and media from all over the country during the Super Bowl LII activities. Nicollet Mall was lit up with vendors, kids’ activities, concerts and special appearances. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport saw record numbers of flights coming in and out of the city. But the Super Bowl had a greater impact on our state than just a week of economic boom for the metro.

The Super Bowl Legacy Fund is a 501C3, community advised fund of the Minnesota Community Foundation. Working in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and based on the recommendations of SHIP’s community health boards, the Legacy Fund provided 52 grants to 52 community projects across the state over the 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII. The work of the Legacy Fund is made possible by Minnesota’s philanthropic community, including foundations, corporations, and individual donors. The Northwest Minnesota…

Bemidji Woman Finds Success Opening Her Own Business

Hannah Anderson grew up believing that if you work hard enough, all things are possible. Watching her father, a woodworker, craft beautiful things (sometimes after much trial and error) instilled in her the importance of cultivating resilience and a strong work ethic.

In the summer of 2016, Hannah and her boyfriend Jordan found themselves with invitations to eight weddings. With all the hustle and bustle of summer, Hannah and Jordan struggled to find just the right gifts for their cherished friends. "We were just running around looking for last-minute gifts, and it was hard to pick out something personal, or something that reflected the couples and their unique relationships," Jordan said.

Hannah, a professional graphic designer, decided to take gifting into her own hands from then on out. Her creativity had led her to a career working for a number of advertising and marketing companies around the Bemidji area, but she felt like she had not yet reached her full potential.…

NMF Supports Mobile Produce Drop Service

The North Country Food Bank has been providing food to local food shelves since 1983. When they first got started, the concept was simple – capture surplus food from the USDA, food manufacturers, grocery retail outlets and farmers to feed hungry people. They can capture donations that are too large for local agencies to handle. Today, North Country distributes food to over 230 charitable organizations on an annual basis. North Country’s service area covers 21 counties in northwest and west central Minnesota and part of Grand Forks, North Dakota. North Country is a member of Feeding America. Most of North Country’s member agencies receive 70 to 90 percent of all the food they distribute from North Country. Their staff consists of 11 full-time paid staff, one part-time paid staff, and more than 1,200 volunteers. They are able to do a lot with a little; last year they distributed 8,096,056 million pounds of food – which is the equivalent of 6,746,713 meals! 

NMF recently awarded North C…

Bemidji's Newest Destination for the Outdoors

It’s no secret that our region is a destination for the outdoors. Our diverse landscapes, countless bodies of water, and access to public lands makes Northwest Minnesota ideal for sportsmen and sportswomen alike.
Erik Jacobson is a Bemidji native who grew up the way many of us did – with a love for all things outdoors. An avid hunter and fisherman, Jacobson always wanted to turn his passion into a lifelong career. With the exception of a few retailers dispersed around the area – Reed’s, Gander Mountain (now closed), L & M Fleet, there are very few locally owned, outdoor specialty stores. Seeing this niche as a major opportunity, Jacobson and his friend Aaron Templin came up with Destination Sporting Goods (DSG).

“We cater to the outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re looking for the best equipment or the right advice, you’ll want to shop at Destination Sporting Goods,” it says on the store’s Facebook page. Their main product offering will include fishing & archery along with a wid…