Alpena High School students went out Tuesday morning to attach a fabricated steel plate onto the South tunnel of the Bat Hibernaculum at Rockport State Park. This is yet another example of collaboration between AHS, NEMI GLSI, Friends of Rockport, and the DNR, the previous being the gates that were placed at the open entrance to each tunnel in 2013.
While those gates have proven an effective barrier to unwanted intruders, smaller holes have developed in the tunnel. While the majority of these can be patched with rock and gravel, one of the holes had eroded in size to the point where a supportive steel plate would need to be inserted to avoid collapsing the end of the tunnel where the bats tend to hibernate.
Alpena welding students fabricated a plate out of scrap steel and installed it Tuesday morning. The DNR followed up Thursday by covering the plates with material that will insulate the Hibernaculum and deter vandals from invading the tunnels.
On June 28th at the Rockport Recreation Day, the efforts of these students will be celebrated by DNR, Friends of Rockport, Michigan Seagrant, and the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. The public is welcome to attend, and festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m.