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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



Still time to sign up for Happe Campers Summer Camp There is nothing like learning in nature!

The Happehatchee Center still has a few spots left in July for the Happe Campers Summer Campfeaturing the wonderful Super Science and Amazing Art folks! The camp is open to children in grades 1 through 5.

For registration and questions please contact Allison at or give her a call at239-682-2780. If you haven’t been to the Happehatchee Center before, we invite you to stop by the on Fridays or Saturdays between 10 – 4 pm for a free tour and to check out the park!

Happehatchee offers a unique summer camp location and programming where students will learn in the Happehatchee Historic House and the breezy Peace Pavilion.  Not to mention, five acres of nature with bamboo stands, a butterfly garden and plant nursery all on the Estero River.  Kids love exploring nature in this safe space. Don’t miss out on this wonderful summer experience! Space is limited.

Happehatchee Center is located at: 8791 Corkscrew Rd., Estero, Florida 33928

July 18 – 22  Eco-Engineering: Putting the A in STEAM: Art and science has always been connected. We will use all parts of our brain- our logical and creative sides will merge together as we invent and innovate new technologies and art techniques. Campers will: learn about thermodynamics while working with our kiln, create recycled inflatable art, explore light and color, experiment with shapes and form, and design organic based jewelry and fashion and a whole lot more. On Friday friends and family will be invited to our art expo. July 25 – 29 

Eco-Tourism: Campers will take part in fun outdoor games and challenges while learning skills to live off the land. Campers will: Work as a team, compete in fun challenges, build a shelter, purify water, identify plants and animals, practice navigation basics, become one with nature, and so much more! On Friday friends and family are invited to participate in camper demonstrations throughout the Happehatchee Center.

Register today! or visit    –  239-682-2780

“YOU can make a difference by  supporting our mission!”

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!

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

Happehatchee Eco-Spiritual Center


Happehatchee celebrated her Members with a wonderful event!

Our first Members’ Day in the Park was a rocking success! Happehatchee Members had a fabulous afternoon together on Sunday March 20th. Members enjoyed a transformative Sacred Sound Healing Circle with Isy Yoga, walking both labyrinths, plant propagation with Erica Klopf from Florida Edible Landscaping, classes in the nursery and deep conversations in nature. Resident artist Ehren Fritz Gerhard gave away two plein air painting that were created and inspired by the Happehatchee Center during the special event. The day ended with joyful music and dancing with Peter Goldbitz’s band Baker and Peters.

We hope that more of you do become supporting Members and can join us for our next free Member’s Day in the Park on November 6th, 2016. Our bridge is open to Members on Membership Days as well as occasionally for special events. Please consider becoming a member now.

Your Happehatchee Membership donations help us to be sustainable, preserve the land, and to actively engage with the Village of Estero to protect the Estero River and its banks. Memberships and donations also help us to offer free programs like our Kids’ Eco-summer Camp, WISE woman program and our Teen River Lab. To become a Member today click here now. To view a list of our current members click here. To view this original blog post click here

“YOU can make a difference by  supporting our mission!”

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!

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



  Eluise Gambino ~ Coaching Ordinary People to Extraordinary Success!

Certified Empowerment Coach assisting her clients in gaining clarity, focus and purpose, leading to happier, more successful lives!


The Balancing Act" in the Nov 2015 Edition of Gulf Coast Woman Magazine, page 11. Access this and my other articles in the Archive section


By Personal Development Coach Peggy Sealfon

Stress is part of life. But chronic stress, anxiety and worry cause tensions that can shut down your ability to clearly perceive reality. Furthermore, those fears—if held over a long period--can ultimately cause illnesses as they compromise your immune system.

Instead of fear and panic, you can cultivate more calming behaviors. By doing so, you will have more energy and feel happier.  So here are 4 basic steps:

1. Be aware of any negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks. With all the complexities of life and the barrage of information, your mind might be spinning out of control at warp speed. It can be challenging to quiet debilitating thoughts like:  “I’m just not good enough, smart enough, thin enough…”  or “this will never work out” or “I can’t possibly get all of this done.” Focusing your attention on what might be wrong can block you from seeing what is right and prevent you from tapping into solutions. So as soon as you notice any concerns, shift your mind for a moment to think about something you enjoy.  Bring a happy image into your awareness for 30 seconds and it will help you release tensions quickly.


2. Monitor your sleep and make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours. Adequate rest is essential for proper functioning of body and mind. The average American adult is sleep deprived and suffers brain fog, confusion, and poor judgment.  Develop a consistent sleep routine to encourage healthy sleep patterns.

3. Avoid sugary foods. Sugar has no nutritional value and can actually contribute to stress and anxiety. The feel-good dopamines released from consuming sugar can change brain function, cause fatigue, shaking, tension and increase worry and fear. Research has shown that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.  So if you’re hooked on sugar, you may find yourself less tolerant of everything. Sadly, sugars are hidden in many foods under disguises such high fructose corn syrup, Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Glucose, Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, and Corn syrup. Read labels and try avoiding sugars as much as possible. If you have a sweet tooth, use local honey or plain stevia which is from a natural plant.

4. Schedule quiet moments each day. As humans, we weren’t meant to be at high alert every minute of every day.  So I suggest you take what I call a “productivity pause” to be quiet for a few minutes. Give yourself permission to sit still. Close your eyes, take a few deep sighs, and let go of all thinking and doing for one to five minutes. A big exhalation actually signals the body to relax.


Check out my free audio By taking brief mental pauses, you will refresh your mind and body in very productive ways.  It will help you think more clearly, feel more energized, function more effectively and ultimately reduce stress!


Peggy Sealfon is an internationally-renowned expert on dealing with stress and anxiety. A motivational speaker and author, she is a certified Life Coach with advanced training in ancient yogic techniques, mindfulness and spirituality as well as certifications in functional medicine, modern psychology, energy medicine and nutrition. Peggy develops effective protocols to help clients overcome issues of health, relationships, work, finances and life purpose. She is co-author of The Change—Insights Into Self Empowerment, one of the fastest-growing personal development book series in the world with Tony Robbins’ former mentor Jim Britt. Her best-selling book Escape From Anxiety—Supercharge Your Life With Powerful Strategies From A to Z is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble (at Waterside Shops) or She's based in Naples, FL.



One of the many roles of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker is to provide counseling to not only individuals but also the family. Family therapy is a type of group psychotherapy that involves the treatment of two or more family members during the same session. This is a modality designed to identify and challenge family patterns that contribute and/or maintain behavior disorders, mental illness and in some cases substance abuse. In family therapy, the family unit collaborates engaging on discussions and problem solving sessions to attain family goals and ideally strengthen communication.


Licensed Clinical Social Workers guide families through the counseling process. The licensed clinical social worker acts as a neutral third party, helping family members share many things such as but not limited to their fears, concerns, disappointments and feelings in a non-confrontational way. The licensed clinical social worker often asks questions designed to help families to discover the underlying causes of their problems. 


This week Sunshine State Counseling Center has compiled a list of ways that Licensed Clinical Social Workers can assist families during the therapeutic process:

  1.  A social worker encourages family members to communicate.
  2. Allow the family to work together in developing a plan that will best meet their needs.
  3. Allowing the families voice to be heard in treatment.
  4. Collaborating with the family members to create a strategic treatment plan that details the goals of treatment.
  5. A long-term goal for the social worker is to teach families how to work together to solve and prevent problems.


for more blogs. 


When I was young I used to be amazed at how long it took my mother-in-law to get ready to leave the house and for that matter, to get ready for bed.  Little did I know then, how important this daily routine was, for being healthy as one ages.  Thank you, Joyce Trank.

Joyce Trank for blog on essential oils

I want to share with you part of my daily health routine involving essential oils  to provide you with some tips that have worked for me.

I started using essential oils as part of my daily health regiment a year ago.  I started small.  I bought the Doterra Lemon oil and added it to my room temperature water every morning.  If I skip this simple small routine I know it.  Thank you sensitive stomach!!!

  • Diffusing Lavender and On Guard for room freshening and sleep

I bought a diffuser next and experimented with several different oils to help us sleep at night.  Most of the time, I mix Lavender with a blend called On Guard,  Doterra’s proprietary combination of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils.  Sleeping soundly is so important for my health and happiness. I also use the On Guard Toothpaste and their throat lozenges .

  • Peppermint to cool down and reduce headache symptoms

I use Peppermint on the back of my neck and wrists to abate hot flashes and help reduce headache symptoms. A friend of mine told me she puts Peppermint in her water before playing tennis.  I also use Peppermint, on occasion, to wake my children.   I put some Peppermint on a clean wash cloth and come up to their beds and wave the wash cloth near their noses. They get up immediately and have told me they feel more alert.

  • Breathe for respiratory symptom reliefdoterra                                                                     

Dealing with respiratory symptoms always includes breathing in the Breathe proprietary blend which includes Lemon, Peppermint Eucalyptus, Thyme, Melissa and Cardamom which clears my airways.  I also rub them on my palms and bottoms of my feet.

  • Diluted Clove Oil for tooth ache

During recent tooth work to repair a crown, I mixed a blend of Clove oil (1-2 drops) and Coconut Oil (10-20 drops) and dabbed into the affected area with a Q Tip. Not only did I feel a lessening of discomfort, but it seemed to help the healing of that area.

  • Deep Blue Proprietary Blend for muscle aches

After teaching 3 yoga classes and playing a physical tennis match,  I reach for my Doterra Deep Blue Blend which has a proprietary mixture of  Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysum and Osmanthus .  I immediately get a feeling of relaxation in my muscles allowing me to go on with my busy life and day.

I am discovering new uses for my DoTerra products daily.  I feel good about using these products due to the fact that they are non toxic and extracted from the plants using the strictest controls of manufacturing and distribution. If you want to learn more about the use of essential oils, I can help.  Just email me at  By the way, I am a yoga teacher and a former science teacher. 

DoTERRA-Oils-Chart resized


The single document that ensures your wishes and/or the wishes of a loved one are followed and that
the desired level of care is received.  Prepare for unforeseen circumstances to save yourself and your family needless pain
Learn what a health care power of attorney is and whey you need one.  I can assist you with the notarization of your documents at your home or area care facility.


Did you know that earrings are your #1 accessory? At my jewelry shows the women often seek my opinion on which accessories look best on them.

If a woman could own just ONE jewelry item, it should be a pair of earrings. Earrings add vibrancy to your complexion and sparkle to your eyes! Stand in front of a mirror wearing a pair of earrings. Then remove them and look back in the mirror. You will notice the little baubles make all the difference in the world. Earrings frame your face; without them you simply do not look "finished". It's like wearing make up with no lipstick or eyeshadow with no mascara.

So when they are not sure what to buy I always suggest earrings. One of the most common question is always which "earrings look best for my face shape?" While, for the most part, ANY earrings will enhance a woman's appearance, there are general guidelines as to the "perfect" earrings for each face shape.

DIAMOND-SHAPED FACE - Drop earrings with discs or clusters at the end of the drop will balance the face's V-shape and draw the eye outward at the chin. Choose rounded designs in lieu of angular styles.

HEART-SHAPED FACE - Large studs, disc or button earrings are a great choice for you because they draw the eye outward to emphasize your unique face shape.

OBLONG FACE - Instead of linear or long drip earrings, choose showy studs, or go for button or round style earrings to draw the eye up and add sparkle to your eyes.

OVAL FACE - Pretty much anything and everything looks great on this face shape. Chandelier earrings are especially flattering since they will draw attention to the entire length and span of your perfect oval face! Yes if you didn't know the oval face is the perfect shape. Most drop earrings will beautifully accentuate your face shape.

SQUARE FACE - Hoop earrings are a great choice for an angular face. The round lines are flattering and soften your looks. Disc-shapes also work! Round it out.

ROUND FACE - To elongate your features and draw the eye downward, choose drop or linear earrings instead of button or round earring styles.

Remember, rules are meant to broken; so if you fall in love with a specific pair of earrings and they don't quite fit the "guidelines" so what? The sparkle in your eyes when you FEEL pretty wearing what you LOVE overrides the "general guideline" any day!

Keep in mind the general earring guideline is just a fashion tip and are the preferred earring styles for each face shape. What's really important is that you FEEL pretty wearing your earrings whether they fit the guideline or not.


The Four Agreements     4

Do you know what it feels like to have something constantly surface in your life and every time it does, you think of the same thing? Well, that "thing" for me is "The Four Agreements". I read this book as part of my curriculum when I was in training with iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) and eight years later, it is still a very big part of my life, my coaching, my personal journey, as well as my overall philosophy on life! So why the long lasting connection? This book offers four simple agreements and I am here to tell you, they have been life changing. 


To say that the book was life changing for me is an understatement. In no way am I professing agreement with the personal & spiritual beliefs of Ruiz, yet, neither am I judging his beliefs. For me, his personal beliefs are irrelevant to what I learned, after all, the underlying premise of his Toltec wisdom stems from love, joy, peace and serenity, what could be wrong with that?  What I do know is if you read this book with your own personal faith and beliefs in perspective, the content of the actual "Four Agreements" can be truly eye opening and yes, life changing!

Along with my Christian beliefs, my core values and my own personal mantra of being true to my word, I believe these four simple agreements can be easily adhered to no matter what your spiritual beliefs are. So much so, that I always recommend this book as a guide for my clients at some point in their personal journey. I am pleased to say that for most of my clients, it has been life changing for them also.  

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word - Words have power. It's really simple; say what you mean and mean what you say. If you say something that is not in line with your beliefs to please someone else or for acceptance, you are not being impeccable with your word. Just as important, words are so powerful that they will carry on for generations, for better, or for worse. If you say something to someone, especially a child, be impeccable with your words; they have power. Words carry energy and can shift the way the other person, as well as yourself, views life, themselves as a person, their faith and their worth. Be impeccable with your word; it is the basis for integrity and without this consistent agreement, you will be in conflict with other virtues such as trust, respect and loyalty. 
  • Don't Make Assumptions  -  There is no fine line here; it is either a fact or it is not. I guess, I think, I believe, I thought, are all the beginnings of an assumption. To eliminate drama from your life, eliminate making assumptions. Ask questions, wait for answers, make your decisions based on what is, not what you think it is, or what you think the person is thinking or feeling. Ask questions, it will eliminate the need to make assumptions. With this one simple agreement, you will be happy to learn that not all things are what you think they are when you finally learn the truth about what is. 
  • Don't Take Anything Personally - One of the simplest, yet most complex of the Agreements. If you choose to see things as they are, it will be easier to see that not all things are about you. Choose to release the need to think so and you will be liberated to know, most things that you've taken personally in the past, actually have nothing to do with you! When you find yourself in this situation; step back, see things for what they are, face your truth or the truth about the circumstances and see if there is truly any reason for you to take any of it personally. It's a choice, only you can decide, it's powerful and it's liberating!
  • Always Do Your Best - One of the greatest gifts I learned from this Agreement is that   "your best" shifts just as you do. If you believe you are "this", then recognize that "this" will change and shift from minute to minute as you and your circumstances evolve. When you learn this simple agreement and shift your thinking to apply this concept to your own truth, you immediately stop beating yourself up. If your inner voice sounds something like this, "I am not this", "I don't have that", "I failed", "I am not good enough for that" or "I could never qualify", you probably have not been very fair to yourself and your potential. When you start recognizing, with optimum truth and integrity; "I did the best I could today with what I have available to me, based on the conditions of my life and my health in this very moment", everything changes!  It is amazing how life can be when you see it for what it truly is. When you accept and acknowledge that life at this very moment has no attachment to expectations from others and especially to your past, you are free to excel and do your very best! It's all about right now, this very moment. Are you doing your best in this very moment?  If your truthful answer is yes, that's all that matters! Go, get it! 
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