The Allamakee County Conservation Board and the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center in Lansing recently asked for the help of preschoolers, 1st graders, and 2nd graders from Postville, Allamakee Community, St. Patrick’s and New Albin elementary schools. It was decided by the board to ask for the students' help to solve an ongoing dilemma: naming the giant snapping turtle in front of the visitor’s center!
Five names were presented to the students: Edgar, Shelly, Mossy, Franklin, and Pebbles. Though these were selected by staff and members of the board, the students were tasked with the final decision.
Along with the naming of the turtle, students also took part in a coloring contest. Several pieces of art from each school and grade are now on display in Lansing and a student from each grade was awarded a prize from the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center's gift shop.
It was a very close vote with students (who often campaigned throughout the halls for their favorite turtle name). But in the end, the name that was voted the favorite by the students of Allamakee County was Shelly.
The Allamakee County Conservation Board would like to thank all the students, staff and elementary schools for their help in the naming of Shelly. If you would like to view the colorings of the artists and see Shelly, the visitor’s center is open Monday through Friday from 8-4:30, Saturday from 10-4 and Sunday from 11-4. Admission is always free and the whole family will find something to learn and enjoy about the Driftless Area that we call home.
Photo: Shelly the Snapping Turtle at the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center photographed by Ross Geerdes