A group of educators from around the Columbia Basin went “batty” in Creston recently. Twenty enthusiastic environmental educators attended an “Educator Workshop on Bats’ hosted by the Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) earlier this month.
“The goal of the workshop was to inspire educators to teach about bats and give them the tools to do so” says Juliet Craig, Coordinating Biologist for the KCBP. “Half our bat species are of conservation concern and that number is increasing. We need to promote bat conservation, and part of that process is through education.”
The weekend included a mist-netting evening where educators saw bat biologists in action stringing up mist-nets and capturing and handling wild bats. Other highlights included classroom teaching techniques, a showcase of activities and games, an evening Bat Count, and acoustic monitoring of bats.
“The workshop was informative and interesting and provided hands-on activities that can be used in the classroom and community” says Patty Kolesnichenko, a workshop participant. “I am thrilled to have more material, games and activities to share with students and community groups.”
Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the successful Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) was initiated in 2004 to raise awareness about bats and their conservation and to assist land owners with bat issues in their buildings. The KCBP provides school programs in partnership with Wild Voices for Kids, a program of the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network whereby educators receive an honorarium for delivering school programs.
“I am so thrilled with the enthusiasm, talent and skills of educators in the Columbia Basin” continues Craig. “Now we have 20 educators able to provide school programs on bats in every corner of our region”.
School programs on bats are offered in the Columbia Basin portion of BC. For more information on how to book a program, see http://www.cbeen.org/wvfk/. To contact the Kootenay Community Bat Project, see www.kootenaybats.com or call 1-855-9BC-BATS.