tom o'rourke

Bill Burris/Flickr

Hartley Nature Center says they're just taking advantage of the snow cover to safely burn a series of debris piles (and a little storm damage) left over from a logging operation this summer.

It's not an official park activity or anything, but the park is still open, and if you're out for a ski or a walk in the 20-below wind chills and you happen upon some folks tending a nice blazing fire ... and you happen to have some marshmallows in your pocket, well - so much the better.

Tom O'Rourke/Hartley Nature Center

Why isn't there a "Yurts 'R' Us"?

Where do yurts come from, anyway?

Hartley Nature Center still has some unanswered questions after July storms destroyed their yurt, but the 100 schoolkids on their way to Hartley for a field trip today will get to enjoy the new yurt in all its 30' in diameter glory.  Plus it will be open as a learning space for kids year 'round: out at Hartley they also have a lifetime supply of firewood for the yurt's wood-burning stove.

Hartley Nature Center

April showers bring May flowers ... and this year, July storms brought August fundraisers.

The community raised over $10,000 for Hartley Nature Center's Yurt Got Hurt event to restore damaged outdoor education centers, but the scramble to get the park back up and running for the over ten thousand kids who come through on field trips every year continues.

Luckily, so do offers of help from local volunteers.

Tom O'Rourke

Hartley Nature Center is closed for the remainder of this week, after straight line winds in excess of 70 mph caused "trees down everywhere" in the park, blocking trails, damaging the nature playscape and the yurt and leaving Hartley still without power almost a week later.  It's a possibly hazardous - and definitely expensive situation as Hartley staff and the city continue to assess the damage and decide what happens next.

Kat Stan/Flickr

Outdoor enthusiast and dad Tom O'Rourke (he's also the executive director of the Hartley Nature Center) says there's a way to plan, survive and even enjoy camping trips with your kids.  Spoiler alert: minimalism is not always a good thing, a little free-range parenting IS a good thing,  and never use the word "hiking"!

Lisa Johnson

Hartley Nature Center's Tom O'Rourke joins us this morning to talk about membership, community and the importance of the great outdoors!

Hartley Nature Center

Tom O'Rourke, executive director of Hartley Nature Center, describes what the $600 thousand dollar award will do for park improvements.