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Letter from our President, Genelle Grant, Ed.D. - posted by Happehatchee Eco-Spiritual Center at Social Cents Club

Letter from our President, Genelle Grant, Ed.D. from Happehatchee Eco-Spiritual Center's blog

Kids at Happe Happe Children! Photo: Maxi Lorenzo

Kids at Happe
Happe Children! Photo: Maxi Lorenzo

Dear Happe Friends,

Ellen Peterson

In Loving Memory of Ellen Peterson

Five years after Ellen Peterson’s passing, we are united, organized and ready for the future.  The Land Is vibrant, and the Happe Tribe thrives, with hundreds of helpers, including volunteers, Members, visitors, friends, Advisors, Staff, and the Board of Directors.

Ellen wanted children to experience Nature at Happehatchee. This year we hosted the third Happe Summer Eco-Camp for farmworker children, and we became a site for the Amazing Summer Science and Art Camps and Homeschooler Science Classes.  Farmworker Family Festivals, the Teen River Lab,Girl and Boy Scout troops, and Canoe Safety classes bring more young people to the woods and the Estero River.

Ellen founded the Happehatchee Center ten years ago, to protect the sacred Land, the river, and the surrounding old Florida forest.  We have worked hard and continuously to create a successful community organization, fully cooperating with Lee County Code Enforcement, achieving recognition from the Lee County Historical Preservation Board, becoming part of the Great Calusa Blueway, and participating vociferously in public hearings for the Village of Estero, to protect the river life and fragile ecosystems as the new city develops around us.  Happehatchee is the Park in the Heart of the Village.

Ellen envisioned an Eco-Spiritual Educational Center.  Indeed, with a variety of popular Yoga classes four days a week, monthly Drum, Reiki and Healing Circles, Art and Soul craft classes, Maya, Water Blessing, and Labyrinth ceremonies, the WISE (Working to Improve through Self Employment) Project for farmworker women, and Workshops with world-renowned authors, artists and musicians, the Center vibrates with learning, Light, and Healing.  The co-centric circles in the Happehatchee logo represent the spiritual and environmental effects of Happe programs as they radiate out into the world.

In honor of Ellen, we recently opened a small park on the Estero River, with a ramp and picnic area.  Good friend Dennis Francisco Adams and a generous neighbor contributed funds to restore the dock, which is now a welcoming feature in our beautiful Ellen Peterson Picnic Park on the Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail.

People with disabilities, children and other friends in wheelchairs need final connection to Ellen’s Picnic Park and YOU can make that happen!  There is no safe way, by land, to reach the dock on the Estero River.  The 100-foot long ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) boardwalk from the Historic House parking lot, through the bamboo and woods, to the dock will cost $40,000.

The West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND) has awarded the Happehatchee Center a matching grant to construct the ADA boardwalk.  The agency’s award is contingent upon Happehatchee Center’s provision of 50% of the cost of the project. We need to raise another $20,000 in the cash match to receive their $20,000.

I will donate $1,000 to start.  Are there 19 of you, friends of Ellen, the environment, and/or the Village of Estero, who will also donate $1,000?  All twenty names, plus the dock donors’, will appear on a bronze plaque in the park.

Please donate $1,000 to the Ellen Peterson Picnic Park.
In your name,
Or in the name of someone you love.

Donate to Happehatchee

Thank you for your support. 

Because of you, the Happehatchee Center is ten years strong and glowing!

Genelle Water Blessing SWFLI hope to see you in person for a Happe day in Nature.  Exciting events coming up are the Open House on October 15, Members’ Day on November 6, and the fabulous “Music of the Spirit” Workshop with Kat Epple and Nathan Dyke on December 2 to 4.  We are so Blessed!


With Love and Gratitude,

Genelle G. Grant, Ed.D.
President of the Board of Directors


Please send your check to: The Happehatchee Center, Inc. 8791 Corkscrew Rd, Estero, FL 33928. Or click here to make your donation now.



Ellen Peterson Park Estero River

Park in the Heart of the Village SWFL
About Happehatchee Eco Spiritual Center

Happehatchee Center is a sanctuary for peace and healing. A Park in the Heart of Estero Village. Our mission is to sustain the Happehatchee Eco-spiritual Center as it provides environmental and healing arts education. We preserve and honor Happehatchee’s vibrant land as a way to make sacred connections with our selves, each other, and Nature. The Happehatchee Center is a Founding Member of the Estero Historic Preservation Citizens Committee. Happehatchee Center would greatly appreciate your support in order to continue to provide and offer everything we do as we continue to grow and offer our community even more!


Happe Logo 100

8791 Corkscrew Rd., Estero, Florida 33928
(239) 992-5455


Become a Happehatchee Member and Support our Mission



Office and Volunteer Hours every Friday and Saturday 10am – 4pm
Healing in Nature Several Days a Week
All additional hours by appointment or rental only


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By Happehatchee Eco-Spiritual Center
Added Sep 23 '16


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