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 - First Thursday of the 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. 

Check back in August for dates for the 2019-2020 School Year! 



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 from June 13th - July 25th. This program is held in the library's Bell Art Room on the Second Floor.

Wiggly Worms - Thursday, June 20th, 10:30am  - 11:00am  

Join us as we delve into the wiggly world of worms! We'll read some stories about worms, discover what type of weather worms like, make a worm craft to hone our fine motor skills, and lastly, hold and observe some earthworms! 

Maker Mondays - Grades 1-5

Join the Winona Public Library for weekly STEAM-based fun incorporating art, science, engineering, and theatre.  Programs take place on Mondays from June 10th - July 29th. 

Monday, July 15th, 10:30am - 11:00am 

Happy Dancing Turtle is hosting on July 15th! Topic TBD. Check back soon!


Save the Date! Eco Camp is coming to the Driftless! 



We are very excited to announce that we will be partnering with the Winona Family YMCA to offer our Eco Camp program at their Camp Wenonah location this summer!  Nora has been running Eco Camps with Michelle in the Pine River, MN location for the past 5 summers. She is beyond excited to start a second location of camps in Winona, MN! 


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

2019 THEME

This year's camp theme for the Driftless Area is Planet Power Pals, a band of Minnesota woodland creatures who are fighting to save our planet! We'll help your child become a planet superhero by learning all about the earth and what they can do to help take care of it! Each age group will have a Planet Power Pal mascot. Note: Grades are the grade level your child will be entering in Fall of 2019. 


All camps are week long day-camps, running Monday through Friday.  School-aged camps run from 8:30am-4:30pm, and the PreK/K camp runs from 8:30am-12:30pm.*  Campers may be dropped off at the Winona Family YMCA starting at 8:30 and will take a bus out to Camp Wenonah, arriving at 9am. We will leave Camp Wenonah at 4:00pm and have your children back at the Winona Family YMCA for pick-up from 4:15-4:30pm.

Registration is now OPEN! Registration is through the YMCA - go to their website, click "Register for Programs" and then "Camp Wenonah" and you'll see Eco Camp listed. 

 July 8 - July12: Raccoon Rascals (1st - 3rd grade)

August 5 - August 9: Rabbit Rangers (Pre-K and Kindergarten)*

August 19-23: Bat Battalion (4th - 6th grade) 



  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; this year it is the Planet Power Pals. We're excited to announce Oliver S. as our winner for this year's contest! Thank you to all of those who submitted designs! 



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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