Nothing heralds spring quite like the flutter of butterfly wings in the daytime and the rhythmic beating of bats’ wings at dusk. They remind us that buds and blossoms and new life are parading back into our landscapes and bringing warmer weather with them.
But aside from the beauty of butterflies and the oddity of bats, each of these creatures serves an important purpose in our ecosystem, and we are excited to share those roles with our students in a series of learning experiences planned for this upcoming week.
In preparation for next week Saturday’s Second Annual Allendale Community Field Day, we are honored to welcome Ms. Holli Ward of Michigan Butterflies LLC to Allendale on Thursday, May 9 from 11:30 until the end of the school day. Ms. Ward will be visiting our Springview and Evergreen Elementary Schools to teach students about butterfly larvae, eggs, general life cycle details, migration patterns of Monarchs, food requirements, and more.
Ms. Ward’s visit will take place in the school’s gymnasium and will allow her time to interact with all of our elementary students — that’s over 800 kids! Stations will be set up to offer an interactive and hands-on experience for everyone.
Mr. Peter Riemersma, co-founder of the Allendale Community Field Day with Mr. Piccard of Allendale Middle School, is overseeing much of the planning for the event and was able to secure grant monies to cover the cost of Ms. Ward’s visit. He hopes to inspire APS students to join our field day after working with butterflies and learning about the important role they play in our ecosystem. (Further details about the 2nd Annual Field Day will be published next week Tuesday).
Allendale Intermediate students will also have the opportunity to learn about winged creatures on May 13 during two assemblies put on by Bats of the World. During these assemblies, fourth and fifth graders will explore the importance of bats, their habitats, thoughts on conservation, and will investigate some of the adaptations bats possess to help them navigate their nocturnal lifestyle. Students will additionally enjoy meeting an African fruit bat, a Jamaican leaf-nosed bat, and a local insect-eating bat.
Mr. Riemersma and Mr. Piccard express their gratitude to the Allendale Elementary School PTO whose support covered the majority of the expense of this visit. They hope that students will be eager to help install bat houses during the community field day on May 18!
Please check back next week for details about our Community Field Day!
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