Together We Stand, Northern Michigan

Norte Northern Michigan Region

Lauren Dake reflects on standing together as a community in Northern Michigan. 


This past weekend I enjoyed the first ski of the season on the Vasa trail. As I glided into the trailhead, a smiling face greeted me, “do you work at Norte?” The skier next to me asked, nodding to my very orange Norte winter hat.

“Yes, I do,” I replied.

“You all do such great work for our community. We love what you do,” my new friend and favorite person exclaimed.

Thank you, Laura. I speak for all of Team Orange when I say we love what we do, too. It puts a smile on our faces when people light up at the sight of Norte gear. It is a validation of our work and recognition that what we do is from caring about others and dedication to making our community better—happy, healthy, strong communities.

In a short six-years, Norte has grown-out from a handful of young riders tooling around Traverse City to now working with communities across the Grand Traverse region. We’re now encouraging active-for-life kids and families in Northport, Kalkaska, Suttons Bay, Elk Rapids, and the list keeps growing. We firmly believe that everyone deserves a happy, healthy, strong community, and we are here to help make that happen.

One of our strengths at Norte is that as Team Orange expands its reach, we understand that no two towns are the same. Each community has unique needs and community dynamics. When we develop our programs in different corners of Northern Michigan, we engage and listen to the community’s needs and scale. We do our best to adapt.

It is an honor to be Norte’s Outreach Coordinator during this time of growth. One of my jobs is to foster connections across Northern Michigan. I’m here to listen and ask how Norte can help. We’re confident that Norte programs and voice bring neighbors together for a happier, healthier, stronger region—from bike libraries and summer camps to slow rolls to Cranksgiving.

The Grand Traverse region is our home, and together we stand. And, yes, Laura, we love what we do, and we love you too.

Outreach Coordinator, Norte

P.S. If you’d like to help secure Norte’s work across Northern Michigan, the easiest way to donate is to text “ORANGE” to 44321 or visit We appreciate your support. 



Happy. Healthy. Strong.