North End Lifestyle

How we work and play in the North End

To visit the Outdoor Recreation pages – click here

In sociology a lifestyle is the way a person lives as much as where. This includes patterns of social relations, consumption, entertainment, dress and more.  A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual’s attitudes, values or worldview. 

“Having a specific “lifestyle” means engaging in a characteristic bundle of behaviors that makes sense to both others and the self in different times and places. Therefore, a lifestyle can be used to forge a sense of self identity and to create cultural symbols for the way a person is. The behaviors and practices within lifestyles are a mixture of habits, conventional ways of doing things, and reasoned actions.” ~ from Wikipedia

The Northender

There are dozens of characteristics that can be attributed to a Northender. We are sometimes described on a whole as “liberal tree-huggers” even though most North End residents, even today, were born in Idaho, the most conservative state in America. We are also described as progressive, free thinkers, independent and activists.

I can only speak from personal experience when describing what a Northender is. I personally don’t like labels, but I think I can say accurately that:

• Northenders love dogs
• Northenders want to be outdoors
• Northenders enjoy all four seasons
• Northenders cherish kids
• Northenders enjoy good food
• Northenders have strong beliefs
• Northenders want to help
• Northenders make a difference
• Northenders are creative

This list is virtually endless. It is positive and embodies a “strictness” of what is fair in all things. It is also our firmly held belief that a Northender is more a “state of mind” than being in a place. We carry the North End with us wherever our lives, careers and opportunities take us.  


Northenders define volunteerism – we enjoy one of the highest rates of school volunteerism in America. Rick and Rob Toothman’s mom started volunteering at Washington Grade School when they were kids in the 1950’s. Mrs. T, as we came to call her, “retired” as a school volunteer only a few years back. During that time she worked with thousands of kids and their parents who also volunteered at Washington.

While my own kids were at Washington Grade School in the 1990’s the ratio of volunteers to class room was around 3 per class per day. We would run the computer lab, work in the classroom, coordinate art instruction, and the PTA added gardens, shelters and helps keep the beautiful school grounds in shape. We even raised the money necessary to retrofit the building with air conditioning!

Health and Wellness

Northenders are serious about their health and the health of others. Wellness and preventive care in its many forms isn’t the exclusive domain of only those who can afford it. Here is a definition of health promotion from the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Health Promotion is the art and science of helping people discover the synergies between their core passions and optimal health, enhancing their motivation to strive for optimal health, and supporting them in changing their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health. Optimal health is a dynamic balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health. Lifestyle change can be facilitated through a combination of learning experiences that enhance awareness, increase motivation, and build skills and, most important, through the creation of opportunities that open access to environments that make positive health practices the easiest choice.

Health and wellness includes being active and outdoor recreation is probably the biggest single lifestyle area shared by Northenders. Whether it is walking, cycling, mountain biking, skiiing paddling or the dozens of other outdoor activities available, you can bet a Northender is in the thick of it.  

Written by Dave Green and originally posted in 2001. While some things change and new people come and go, the constant is always where the sun rises and sets in Boise, always aligned with the North End. 

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