Kidsdonate in search of a new place to play in a natural setting along the Red River in Fargo Moorhead will soon have a brand new place to explore, run, jump and get immersed in nature. This whimsical 4-season play area will use boulders, trees, shrubs, logs, rocks and water to provide open-ended, physically challenging and unstructured play opportunities. The play area will be as enticing for a child to play in as it is aesthetically beautiful to the community, where children will challenge every part of their mind, body and spirit, through play. Watch this 4-minute video to learn more.

Why is a Natural Play Area Needed in Fargo Moorhead?
 
 
Children in Fargo-Moorhead have access to numerous parks, playgrounds, and sporting activities. However, children today have much less time for unstructured play compared to previous generations. Why does that matter? Unstructured play is critical to children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. It is advised that children have twice as much time for unstructured play compared to structured play. Many adults remember the joy of free, outdoor, natural, unstructured play from their own childhood, but this is a distinct contrast from children today who are much more sedentary and who tend to participate mainly in adult-organized activities. This lack of play is contributing to the mental and physical health crisis in children.
 
Studies show natural playgrounds increase physical activity compared to conventional play areas and are preferred by children because they find them challenging and more interesting. One study found that natural playgrounds in the UK had 55% more children visiting (and 14% more adults) when compared to conventional playgrounds in the US, and kids were about 18% more active in natural playgrounds. Natural play areas also have a lower rate of injury when compared to conventional playgrounds. Natural play areas typically cost less than conventional playgrounds to build as well.
 
 

This project also envisions building a bike skills park. Biking instills confidence in kids and helps develop balance, strengthens joints, muscles, bones, and the heart and lungs. Bike skills parks are playgrounds for bikers that include a variety of natural obstacles such as rocks and logs, imaginatively created features such land ladder bridges, teeters, and dirt jumps all collected in a small and easily accessible location. These can most easily be thought of as a skateboard park designed specifically for mountain bikes. As mountain biking popularity increases, these parks are often being constructed and designed for younger kids to help introduce them to the sport and provide a setting to develop the skills to allow them to eventually ride on more advanced trails.

The FM Rotary Foundation's goal is to raise $1,270,000 to build a world class Natural Play Hill and bike skills park. The goal is to create a unique, fun and challenging playground to promote physical activity, get kids outside year round and promote healthy development in local kids.

 

What will you do at Riverfront Park?

A goal for this project is bring fun and enjoyment to our winters.  Daily outdoor time is healthy year round, and with proper preparation, we can embrace the outdoors, just like the year-round outdoor-loving Scandinavians, who have year-round outdoor preschools and who build winter time activities into daily living.
 

Maintenance of the play area will be done by Moorhead Parks, similar to the setup at two previous Rotary projects - the Lindenwood Universal Playground in Fargo and the Miracle Field in south Moorhead.

Location
The project committee conducted a study of multiple potential sites in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, and following months of analysis, the site of Riverfront Park in Moorhead, Minnesota was selected. This site offers a beautiful riverfront location on the Red River of the North, nestled between hills and trees in a serene setting just across from downtown Fargo, North Dakota. It is steps from the Moorhead bike trail, and also is on the lit cross country ski trail system. Parking is readily available on a riverside road just off First Ave. North. The location is central in the metro region, and easily accessible by public transportation, located steps away from rapidly expanding downtown Moorhead.
Learn More and Get Involveddonate
 
Join the discussion on the importance of natural outdoor play by joining our Facebook page. Much remains to be done, and your support is needed. The goal is to have the playground construction kicked off in 2021. Cost estimates for the total construction cost for both the playground and the bike park are $1.27 million. Corporate and individual sponsorships and donations are welcome, and major donors will be recognized through signage at the playground. Click here to make a secure online donation of any size, or checks can be mailed to
FM Rotary Foundation
PO Box 684
Fargo, ND 58107
What is Rotary?
 
Rotary International is a global volunteer organization with over 1.2 million members organized into over 35,000 Rotary Clubs spread throughout the world. There are 5 Rotary Clubs in Fargo-Moorhead. Click on this humorous 3-minute video produced by the local Rotary Clubs to learn more about Rotary, or this site provides links to each of the five clubs; or you can learn more about Rotary International.
 
The FM Rotary Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization led by the 5 Fargo Moorhead Rotary Clubs. Click here for more information on the FM Rotary Foundation. The 5 local Rotary Clubs are in Rotary District 5580, covering North Dakota, northwest Minnesota, Superior, Wisconsin and southwestern Ontario in the regions around Thunder Bay.
 
Project Sponsors
The Rotary Natural Play Hill and Bike Park has received generous donations from nearly 300 unique donors. The FM Rotary Foundation, the 5 Rotary Clubs and the 200+ Rotarians from Fargo-Moorhead would like to express our sincere gratitude for the generosity and number of donors who have sustained this project that will bring such a big benefit to the community. Additional support is still needed. You can have your family or company name engraved on a paver and permanently included at the site, with additional recognition opportunities are available. Click here to make an online or check donation to the FM Rotary Foundation (the sponsor form link is at the top of this page).
 
THANK YOU TO THE DONORS WHO HAVE MADE THIS PROJECT POSSIBLE
Naturalist Level - $50,000 and up
  1. FM Convention and Visitors Bureau
  2. FM Area Foundation
  3. Scheels Foundation
  4. Sanford Foundation
Design Level $25,000 - $49,999
  1. Rotary District 5580
  2. FM Rotary Foundation
  3. Fargo-Moorhead Sertoma Club
  4. Gast Construction
  5. Essentia Health Foundation
  6. Pachel Foundation
  7. Richard and Gayle Larson
  8. Dr. Bill Hunter
Wood Level $10,000 - $24,999
  1. David & Misty Dietz
  2. KLJ Engineering
  3. Del Rae & Ron Williams
  4. Alerus Financial
  5. Hector Foundation
  6. Earthwork Services

 

Stone Level $2,500 - $9,999
  1. Alex Stern Family Foundation
  2. American Crystal Sugar Co.
  3. Anonymous
  4. Auto Club Group Foundation (AAA)
  5. Bell State Bank
  6. Border States Paving
  7. Clay County Early Childhood Initiative
  8. Concorde General Agency
  9. Confluence
  10. Cornerstone Bank
  11. The Historic Moorhead Dairy Queen
  12. The Fargo Optimists
  13. Fargo Rotary Club
  14. Fargo West Rotary Club
  15. FM-AM Rotary Club
  16. FM-PM Rotary Club
  17. General Equipment
  18. Heather Ranck & Ryan McManus
  19. Herb & Bonnie Schmidt
  20. Horace Lions
  21. Integrity Steel
  22. Jean Hannig
  23. Jerry Rogers
  24. Jim Bullis
  25. Jim & Cindy O’Day
  26. Julie and Dan Whitney
  27. Keith & Lynne Brokke
  28. Ken and Marcia Retzer
  29. Kost Materials
  30. Mark & Debbie Hulbert
  31. Moorhead Rotary Club
  32. Dr. Michael Howell
  33. Noridian Continuous Improvement & Quality Team
  34. Norm and Lyla Diede
  35. PSV Enterprises
  36. Sparklight
  37. Stenerson Lumber
  38. Smith Family
  39. Tim and Tracy LeClair
  40. Xcel Energy Foundation
     
Paver Level $500 - $2,499
  1. 702 Communications
  2. Anonymous
  3. Bachman, Inc. (Floor to Ceiling Carpet One)
  4. Bernie and Rhonda Ness
  5. Beverage Wholesalers
  6. Bill and Marilynn Woods
  7. Bob and Zue Zan Hanna
  8. Bob's Concrete Pumping
  9. Border States Electric
  10. Boulger Funeral Home
  11. Brad and Sue Bachmeier
  12. Bremer Bank
  13. Brent and Amber DeKrey
    Audrey and Mackenzie 
  14. Brett & Kayla Christensen, Hope, Viola & Carl
  15. Brian and Sandy Korbel
  16. Bruce & Becky - Let's Play!
  17. Charles Matthees
  18. Choice Bank
  19. Christopher and Nikki Andreasen
  20. Chris Davis
  21. Chuck Helmstetter
  22. Claude Richard
  23. Connie and Woody Caspers
  24. D&N Cinematics
  25. Dan and Joy Jacobson
  26. Dave and Jane Sederquist
  27. Doosan Bobcat
  28. Earl and Dorothy Swanson Familiy
  29. Evelyn Joanna Vetter
  30. EPIC Companies
  31. Family Health Care
  32. First International Bank & Trust
  33. Gary and Cindy Nolte
  34. Gateway Chevrolet & Your Heartland Chevy Dealers
  35. The Gephart Family
  36. God Loves YOU
  37. Harper / AZ Sloan
  38. Heather and Shane Kjos
  39. Houston Engineering Inc.
  40. Industrial Builders
  41. James and Diane Osmanski
  42. Jennifer Lynn Miller
  43. Jill Berg
  44. John and Carol Sue Andreasen
  45. John VanderLinden
  46. JPK Engineering
  47. Karl & Violet Deilke
  48. Kathleen Neugebauer
  49. Kay and Dan Parries
  50. Kevin and Katie Riley
  51. Knight Printing
  52. Lance & Ruth Bergstrom Family
  53. Lavonne and Jay Liversage
  54. Mark and Jennifer Shaul
  55. Marlene Daniels for Keegan, Maddy, Wyatt, Alex, Reese, Abby
  56. Marsh McLennan Agency
  57. McGough Construction
  58. Microsoft
  59. National Hospitality Services
  60. Oliver and Graham
  61. Olivia and Carter Tweten
  62. In Memory of Pat McManus
  63. Premium Painting
  64. RD Offutt Company
  65. Richard and Melinda McCartney
  66. RiverHaven Events Center
  67. Robert Gibb & Sons
  68. Robert Hanna
  69. Runger's
  70. Russ and Nancy Hanson
  71. Scott and Sue Omdalen
  72. 4 Generations of Rotarians -  Herman, Edward, John, Erica Stern
  73. Steve Halverson
  74. Swanson Cares Foundation
  75. Sylvia and Mike Lunski
  76. Teresa and Richard Norwig
  77. Thier's
  78. Tom and Ann Riley
  79. Tom and Karla Thompson
  80. Travis and Jennifer Christopher
  81. The Wai Family
  82. WalMart Dilworth
  83. Widmer Roel
  84. Wright Funeral Home
 
An additional 109+ donors have donated between $1 and $500 to the project. THANK YOU!