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  • HDT Team

17th Annual Back to Basics a Big Success!

Powered by a sunny day and the energy raised by talking about sustainable living, almost 500 people came together for the 2023 Back to Basics conference on Saturday, February 11, 2023. Co-hosted with Pine River-Backus Community Education, the event returned to an in-person venue at Pine River-Backus School.

Collage of people at workshops
Photos by Pine Haven Photography

“Judging by comments and evaluations, people find the Back to Basics offerings more valuable than ever,” said Executive Director Quinn Swanson. “We are so fortunate to have workshop presenters and vendors/exhibitors who care passionately about sustainability and want to share that passion.” This year’s line up included 47 workshops including many favorite presenters and 20 who are new to Back to Basics.

Photos by Pine Haven Photography

Highlights of the day included a keynote on the history of water in the Pine River area, a full slate of vendors and exhibitors and workshops on topics such as soil health, keeping chickens, water stewardship, personal well-being, clean energy, wild mushrooms and natural landscaping. Approximately 40% of the attendees were new to the event and came from locations all over Minnesota.


Photos by Pine Haven Photography

The sunny 45-degree weather and location at PR-B School was a boon for the snowshoe hike workshop that visited the PR-B School Forest. A special thank you to Glenn Skuta of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for previewing the We Are Water MN exhibit that Happy Dancing Turtle will be hosting on the Hunt Utilities Group Resilient Living Campus April 27 through June 19.


And thank you to Carrie Jennings of Freshwater for painting a picture of how water in our area was informed by geological history, the current health of our water and how we might all protect and preserve it for future generations. If you’d like to learn more about water conservation efforts, the Freshwater website is a great resource.


Save the date for the 18th Annual Back to Basics which will be February 17, 2024! In the meantime, here are some more photos to enjoy!



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