Organization for Bat Conservation staging hands-on presentations at 14 nature centers throughout southeast Michigan to facilitate better understanding – and love – for bats
March 9, 2013
Bloomfield Hills, Mich. — Bats navigate by echolocation, but the world’s sole flying mammals fly under the radar screen when it comes to positive first impressions among the public. Volunteers at the Cranbrook Institute of Science-based non-profit Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) battle bat misconceptions daily, and their crusade is receiving a welcome boost in 2013, thanks to Critter Catchers, Inc.
Continuing a tradition of corporate philanthropy started in 2008, Michigan Critter Catchers – an OBC partner – is donating $3,500 in 2013 to fund a grant enabling OBC staff to host 14 events at various nature centers in five counties across Michigan. These live bat exhibits combine an interactive bat presentation with an information session discussing behavior unique to bats, habitats, food sources, benefits and tips for peacefully co-existing.
“Nature centers in are struggling to bring educational programs to the communities they serve, as charitable contributions disappear in a dismal economy,” said Rob Mies, Executive Director, OBC. “The grant by Critter Catchers represents a significant step in the opposite direction, reaffirming our belief that community-based learning initiatives remain not merely viable but valuable. We simply couldn’t provide on-site live bat shows without help through benefactors like Critter Catchers.”
“We have been funding this grant since 2008” said Dave Kugler, president, Critter Catchers. “Last year, over 800 people benefitted from the grant program. This grant is a unique opportunity for us to give back to the Michigan community that has been so generous to us.”
2013 grant recipients include:
Oakland County – Cranbrook Institute of Science, Troy Nature Society, Friends of the Johnson Nature Center, Oakland Parks Foundation and the Rochester African American Parent Network;
Washtenaw County – National Wildlife Federation, Leslie Science Center and Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy;
Kent County – Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience and Environmental Education Center;
Macomb County – Sterling Heights Nature Center;
St. Clair County – Pine River Nature Center.
Residents should contact their local nature centers for upcoming event schedules.