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Industrial Arts Students Support Lake Huron Coastal Habitat by Preserving Hibernacula in Alpena

Alpena High School industrial arts teachers Scott MacKenzie and Zach Grulke are getting their students involved in the local community through placed based education.

Alpena Wildcats are joining the effort to help protect and enhance eco-tourism in Alpena! Woodshop and welding students are partnering with numerous organizations to promote conservation and wildlife habitat restoration by helping to protect two local winter hibernacula for bats at Rockport State Recreation Area.

Alpena High School industrial arts teachers Ron Cadarette and John Suszek, building on previous work by Scott Mackenzie and current woodworking teacher Zach Grulke, are enthusiastic about supporting their student’s involvement in helping protect not only the bats using the hibernacula, but the public as well. Welding students designed and built custom steel gate structures to protect the hibernacula. The gates were installed and fabricated to each hibernaculum by industrial arts students in early June, 2013. These gates protect the bats habitat by safely excluding the public from accessing these dangerous tunnels while enabling the bats to come and go freely. Additionally, the gates minimize disturbance to the hibernating bats; which can increase their survival. In June of 2014, welding students returned to place a steel plate over a collapsing portion of the tunnel, which was then covered by the DNR with rocks and gravel to provide insulation. Woodworking students are helping promote conservation and wildlife habitat restoration by designing and building summer bat habitat houses that can be placed at the recreation area. This will provide further habitat for bats in the area and promote habitat conservation.

In order to better educate Alpena High School students and the local community on the importance of bats, Michelle Maust from the Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) gave two live bat presentations in early April. The presentations focused on learning the truth about bats and what we can do to protect these critters. The OBC is a nonprofit dedicated to providing resources to protect bats through live animal programs, community education, collaborative partnerships and more.

If you are interested in learning more on the bat project in a broader scale please contact Jennifer Kleitch, Wildlife Biologist with the Michigan DNR at 989-785-4251 ext. 5230 or e-mail at kleitchj@michigan.gov.

Alpena High School woodworking students building summer bat habitat houses that can be placed at Rockport State Recreation Area.
Alpena High School woodworking students building summer bat habitat houses that can be placed at Rockport State Recreation Area.
Heather Rawlings, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, helped kick-off the bat project at Rockport by educating Alpena High School students on bats and the importance of them in our ecosystem.
Heather Rawlings, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, helped kick-off the bat project at Rockport by educating Alpena High School students on bats and the importance of them in our ecosystem.
Michelle Maust, from the Organization for Bat Conservation presented Bats of the World to AHS students and the local community.
Michelle Maust, from the Organization for Bat Conservation presented Bats of the World to AHS students and the local community.
Short-tailed Fruit Bat; this small leaf nosed bat is native to South America!
Short-tailed Fruit Bat; this small leaf nosed bat is native to South America!
Egyptian Fruit Bat; this medium sized mega bat is found in caves in Africa!
Egyptian Fruit Bat; this medium sized mega bat is found in caves in Africa!
Egyptian Fruit Bats are some of the only mega bats that can use a rudimentary form of echolocation.
Egyptian Fruit Bats are some of the only mega bats that can use a rudimentary form of echolocation.
Big Brown Bat; this is the second largest bat species found in Michigan!
Big Brown Bat; this is the second largest bat species found in Michigan!
Straw-colored Fruit Bat; this species is one of the largest bats found on the continent of Africa!
Straw-colored Fruit Bat; this species is one of the largest bats found on the continent of Africa!
Bat houses provide further habitat for bats in the summer.
Bat houses provide further habitat for bats in the summer.
A Straw-colored Fruit Bat in the wild can eat up to 4 pounds of fruit a night!
A Straw-colored Fruit Bat in the wild can eat up to 4 pounds of fruit a night!
AHS industrial arts students welding the steel gates for the hibernacula.
AHS industrial arts students welding the steel gates for the hibernacula.
AHS industrial arts students installing the gate on the north hibernaculum.
AHS industrial arts students installing the gate on the north hibernaculum.
Installation of north gate
Installation of north gate
South gate installation
South gate installation
AHS students fitting the gate into the south hibernaculum.
AHS students fitting the gate into the south hibernaculum.
AHS industrial arts students designed and fabricated two custom steel gates to protect the hibernaculum at Rockport.
AHS industrial arts students designed and fabricated two custom steel gates to protect the hibernaculum at Rockport.
AHS students and some of the community partners involved in the project.
AHS students and some of the community partners involved in the project.
Thunder Bay Concrete Supplies transported cement blocks donated from L&S Transit Mix Concrete to Rockport State Recreation Area.
Thunder Bay Concrete Supplies transported cement blocks donated from L&S Transit Mix Concrete to Rockport State Recreation Area.
Thunder Bay Concrete Supplies and MI DNR staff helped unload cement blocks and put them in place for the bat project.
Thunder Bay Concrete Supplies and MI DNR staff helped unload cement blocks and put them in place for the bat project.
Rockport State Recreation Area, located on the shores of Lake Huron just north of Alpena, MI.
Rockport State Recreation Area, located on the shores of Lake Huron just north of Alpena, MI.
Project Participants
Helen-Ann Prince
Community Partners
News
Friday, February 06, 2015
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Monday, March 24, 2014
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Monday, July 01, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Friday, January 04, 2013
Created on Wednesday, April 03, 2013
 
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AMA-Iosco Math Science Center Americorps U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Great Lakes Fishery Trust Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Community Foundation Northeast Michigan Huron Pines Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle ESD Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona ESD Michigan Department of Natural Resources Northeast Michigan Council of Governments Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary 4-H MSU Extension Michigan Sea Grant NOAA