The Driftless Region

Map-of-Minnesota-Wisconsin-Iowa-Driftless-AreaA member of the HDT team recently relocated to the Winona, MN area and took Happy Dancing Turtle with her! We are excited to be extending our reach into a second location – the Driftless Region. Nora will be working to fulfill our mission in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. She will be promoting sustainable living through a variety of outreach and educational activities. You can follow our Driftless Region activities on our Facebook page.

Why Driftless?

The Driftless Region is an area of southeastern Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, and northwestern Illinois that was untouched by glaciers during the last ice age. This means it was spared from glacial erosion and is free of the glacial drift (sediment deposits) that were left behind to cover much of the rest of the Midwest during the last glacial retreat. This area lays claim to an incredibly diverse topography, bountiful natural resources, unique and important ecosystems, and a high concentration of organic farms. We are excited to build our connections as we extend our outreach in this area of the Midwest!



Programs in the Driftless Region 

Located in Trempealeau:

leaf-artNature Club - One Thursday a Month - 3:00-4:30pm - HDT Driftless is offering a once a month after-school club in collaboration with the Trempealeau Public Library. We'll learn about plants, animals, and the rest of the environment through a variety of activities, games, STEM challenges, books, crafts, and more! More importantly, kids will also learn how to be good stewards for the natural resources we learn about! 

There are numerous benefits to time spent outdoors and playing in nature. We will try our best to spend part of EVERY class session outside, no matter the weather! Please make sure your child is prepared for the weather! Meet at the Trempealeau Public Library. 

The Fall 2019-2020 School Year Dates are as follows: Sept. 5th, Oct. 10th, Nov. 7th, and Dec. 5th. 


Terracycle Drop-off at the Trempealeau Library - During Library Hours 

We are partnering with the library to launch a new collection program for personal care product and cosmetic packaging, as well as empty (and clean) squeeze snack pouches. Items include: any brand of kid's squeeze snack pouches and plastic lids; shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wash, and soap bottles and lids; hair spray (no cans) and hair gel bottles with lids and spray tops; and empty cosmetic products such as mascara tubes, lipstick tubes, eye pencils, eyeshadow cases, etc. These items will be collected for FREE with permanent bins at the library. Happy Dancing Turtle will periodically empty them & ship off the contents for recycling. 



Located in Winona: 

Programs at the Winona Public Library 

Early Explorers - Ages 2-5 

Explore a new topic each week, from engineering to nature and everything in between! Programs take place every Wednesday, from 10:30-11:00am from September 4th - November 27th. 

HDT will host the program on Wednesday, September 25th - Spiders

Many of us are afraid of the eight-legged "creepy" crawlies that we see, but spiders are our friends! Join us to learn more about spiders with silly costumes, spider-friendly books, songs, and activities! 

Nature Knowledge with Nora - Great for ages 6-10 

Join Nora from the Happy Dancing Turtle for nature-based fun each month! Activities will include engaging nature lessons, crafts, stories, STEM challenges, and games.  Great for ages 6 through 10.

Friday, October 11th at 3:30 PM

Mythbusters: Bat Edition - As Halloween approaches, we begin to see lots of creepy bat decor. But are bats bad? Join Nora as we bust some myths about bats and learn why they are very important! See if you can keep a straight face as we check out some of the biggest, smallest, and goofiest-looking bats on the planet and learn some ways you can help!

Monday, November 4th at 1:30 PM (No school day)

Blue Planet: STEM Challenge - Oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface, but contain 99% of the world's living space! Yet, we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of the ocean. In recent years, we've discovered some pretty neat things about the deep ocean, including some very strange, bioluminescent things that live down there! Join us to learn about some of the weirdest and then craft your own Create-ure that could live in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean!

Monday, December 9th at 3:30 PM

Winter Food Hunt - Animals have a lot of different ways they can survive winter. Join us to learn about winter survival strategies and the animals that worked hard all fall to store up enough food! Discover who the master food-cachers are and why they're important. Then set out on your own hunt to find enough food for winter, hidden throughout the library. Will you survive?!


Programs in Partnership with Winona Area Public Schools Community Education - Adult Enrichment:

How to be Green in Winona 

Tuesday, September 24th, 6-7pm; Winona Middle School, Room 260

What kinds of things contribute to our ecological footprint and what steps can we take to reduce it? We have a wealth of resources in our community to help us go green! Join us for a discussion on how to live more sustainably in the Winona area by taking advantage of opportunities for shopping local, buying locally grown food (or growing your own), reducing waste, recycling beyond your curbside pick up, composting, saving energy, and more! Come eager to learn more or to offer your own tips and tricks for going green in Winona! Register here, cost $10.

Simplifying Your Holidays 

Tuesday, October 29th, 6-7pm; Winona Middle School, Room 260

Do you ever feel stressed during the holidays or feel that the holiday season has become more focused on materialism and consumerism then it is on time spent connecting with family and loved ones? In this workshop participants will be challenged to think about why the holidays can be overwhelming and what we can do to reduce some of the unnecessary stressors. This "Less Stuff, More fun" campaign provides many practical tips for creating a more meaningful holiday with your family, plus it will serve as a guide to awesome local experiences and alternative "gifts" to consider giving this holiday season!


Driftless Region Eco Camp  


We'd like to give a huge THANK YOU to all the families that participated in our first summer of Eco Camps in this region! We had so much fun with your kiddos this summer, teaching them how thye can help our wonderful planet. We look forward to what next summer will bring for our camps - stay tuned for updates! 


Eco camp is a week-long day camp for children ages PreK-6th grade. We believe a passion for stewardship begins with cultivating a love of nature and being outdoors. We'll discuss a variety of environmental topics including plants, animals, renewable energy, water, gardening, composting, recycling, and how to be a responsible caretaker of our planet. Children will be engaged in environmental education through a variety of lessons, activities, games, stories, crafts, garden experiences, outdoor play, healthy snacks, and more! For a full description of the camp, make sure to check out the YMCA's Summer Program Brochure

  T-Shirt Contest Winner 

Each year, we host a T-shirt Design Contest for students in Grades K-12. Students can submit a design for our camp T-shirts that matches our theme; the 2019 theme was the Planet Power Pals. We're excited to announce Oliver S. was our winner for the 2019 contest! Thank you to all of those who submitted designs! The contest for next summer's design will begin in the spring of 2020 - check back for details! 



Happy Dancing Turtle - Driftless Region 
67 West 5th Street
PO BOX 651
Winona, MN 55987

If you're looking for information about our 2019 Secrets of the Garden Eco Camp  at Happy Dancing Turtle's main campus in Pine River, MN, please click here




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