N.D. Tourism hopes to grow agritourism

BISMARCK – The state Tourism Division wants more North Dakotans to get involved in agritourism, an industry it says is in big demand right now.

The first “rolling workshop” is set for Oct. 18 and is designed for people interested in starting or expanding an agritourism business.

The workshop will take participants to successful agritourism sites across North Dakota. Along the way, they will take part in educational seminars covering topics ranging from licensing to taxes to promotion.

Visits to ranches are popular with international tourists, said Dean Ihla, North Dakota Tourism development manager. In addition, more people are interested in knowing where their food comes from as the population becomes more urban, he said.

The workshop departs from Bismarck and is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sites confirmed are Riverbound Farm south of Mandan, Papa’s Pumpkin Patch in Bismarck, Midstate Lodges near McClusky and Rolling Plains Adventures of rural McKenzie.

The cost is $50 per person, with an additional $20 for a family or business partner. Registration includes a resource guide and related materials, noon meal and transportation. Limited space is available.

If there’s enough interest, additional workshops will be offered in the future, Ihla said.

For more information, contact Ihla at (701) 328-2525.

Legislative week ahead

Three legislative meetings are scheduled for this week in Bismarck.

The Education Committee meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Roughrider Room in the Capitol.

Lawmakers will hear a presentation from Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple regarding the work of the Commission on Education Improvement and the Early Childhood Council.

The committee will also hear a report about the work of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force and hear reports from the Department of Public Instruction.

The Higher Education Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Roughrider Room.

The North Dakota University System will report on North Dakota academic and career and technical education scholarships.

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Advisory Council will provide an update regarding the strategic plan, programs and facilities of the school.

There will also be a presentation by the university system regarding the development of an internal audit plan for the system and for institutions.

Full agendas can be found at www.legis.nd.gov/council/interim/meetings.

Parks nominations

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is seeking nominations for the Cal Renner Award of Excellence.

The award, the department’s highest honor, is presented annually to an individual, group or business having demonstrated a long-term commitment to enhancing North Dakota state parks and North Dakota’s quality of life through outdoor recreation and natural resource stewardship.

Nominations will be accepted until Nov. 1. Award guidelines and nomination forms are available at www.parkrec.nd.gov or by calling the department at (701) 328-5358.

North Dakota Parks and Recreation seeks grant applicants

From a news release:

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is seeking applications for the federally-funded Land and Water Conservation Fund grant program and the state-funded Outdoor Recreation Facilities grant program.

Applications are available at www.parkrec.nd.gov/recreation/grants.htm and are due Nov. 1. 

The purpose of both grant programs is to assist government entities in providing public outdoor recreation opportunities, such as parks, playgrounds and playfields. The 50/50 matching grants fund the development and rehabilitation of outdoor recreation facilities. The land and water conservation program may fund land acquisitions for parks or other public recreation land.

The following projects received funding in 2009: 

·         Bismarck Park District’s Lions Park Playground

·         NDPRD’s Bottineau County Tract Acquisition

·         Jamestown Parks & Recreation’s Leapaldt Park

·         Park River Public School District’s Elementary School Playground

·         Minot Park District’s Magic Smiles Playground

·         Tower City Park Board’s Alexander Park Playground

·         Carson Park Board’s Carson Picnic Area

·         West Fargo Park District’s Westside Park Playground

·         Washburn Parks & Recreation’s Renner Park Playground 

For more information on these grant programs, visit www.parkrec.nd.gov/recreation/grants.htm or contact Jessica Riepl at 701-328-5357 or jriepl@nd.gov.

State parks host artist in residency program

News release:

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is teaming up with the North Dakota Council on the Arts to bring the “Artist In Residency” program to the state parks.

Three area artists are being given the chance to showcase their crafts and talents, each at a difference state park for one week between July 15 and Aug. 30. This is an effort to incorporate the arts into the interpretive and educational activities at Lewis & Clark, Icelandic and Cross Ranch state parks.

Fargo’s Robb Siverson will be featured at Icelandic State Park from Aug. 8-15. Siverson is a passionate photographer drawn to the vastness and grandeur of the Northern Plains landscape. Siverson’s goal is to create a body of work showing North Dakota’s beauty through vivid images of Icelandic’s historical site and landscape.

Heidi Goldberg of Walcott will create a series of graphite and watercolor sketches translated to copper plates from which intaglio prints are made. Goldberg will display her talents at Cross Ranch State Park from Aug. 1-8.

Wahpeton’s Lise Erdrich will focus on writing environmental essays and introducing pictography derived from the traditional Anishinaabe art form of birch bark scribing during her stay at Lewis & Clark State Park from July 25-Aug. 1.

The Artist in Residency program recruits writers, composers, visual and performing artists, allowing them to express their experience through their art. Each artist is conducting a presentation and hands-on workshop for the public during their stay at the parks.

For more information about the visiting artists, contact the parks in which they are staying. More information about the parks can be found at www.parkrec.nd.gov.