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Event emcee—and Boulder adventurer—Ryan Van Duzer knows a thing or two about the benefits of playing in the dirt. (Photo courtesy of MeSimple)

Boulder Event Urges Us to Connect with the Great Outdoors

This daylong symposium, hosted by MeSimple, is a reminder to stop, breathe, and take in our surroundings. 

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You don’t have to explain the benefits of getting outside to most Coloradans. But, if you’re like me, appreciating the beauty of nature and the fun that can be found in our mountains and rivers doesn’t mean you necessarily get to experience those things as often as you’d like.

Scott Edwards found himself in the same situation. A lifelong tech entrepreneur with a passion for rock climbing and mountaineering, Edwards began to notice something curious: “In the outdoor enthusiast side of my world, when you got down to the end of the road—people in their 60s and 70s—those who spend a lot of time outside seemed to have a gleam in their eye. For some of my business associates heading into that age, they seemed to not be as spry and happy and, to some degree, fulfilled.” He started seeking out people who had found fulfillment in decluttered and nature-rich lives. He ditched his Lexus for his mother-in-law’s Honda Accord. Eventually, the father of three started interviewing and videotaping some of those changemakers; this past fall, those exchanges became the foundation for MeSimple, an online forum of stories about the benefits that come with simplifying our lives and connecting more with the outdoor world.

Next weekend, Edwards, who lives in Boulder, is bringing MeSimple off the screen and into the real world with “Tapping the Potential of Nature & Simplicity,” a daylong symposium. Speakers include poet Ushi Patel, a Grammy- and Emmy-nominated pianist whose compositions are inspired by nature, and more; event emcee Ryan Van Duzer is a well-known Boulder adventurer. “I think these people and their stories will lead you—as they led me—to a life where I have far fewer possessions, and I would classify myself as more connected with nature. I used to spend time in Rocky Mountain National Park, but my goal was always to get to the summit of some technical climb and back out, whereas now I wander around more, I meander, I pay attention [to what’s around me],” Edwards says.

It’s a reminder to stop, breathe, and take in our surroundings, which can benefit all of us—even the most outdoorsy Coloradan.

Details: “Tapping the Potential of Nature & Simplicity” will be held on Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Boulder’s eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St. Tickets are $75.

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