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Blind River students get busy to protect bats

WC Eaket Secondary School students build bat houses to be placed along the Trans Canada Trails in the area

Students at WC Eaket Secondary School have built bat houses to be placed along the trails in concert with the Trans Canada Trail vision which states the Trans Canada Trail will continue to inspire everyone to embrace the outdoors; to connect to, learn about and honour the land; to value the diversity of all people; to enhance their health and well-being, and to share their stories along this globally significant and iconic trail network.

Mississauga First Nation and Blind River recently received awards for work done on trails to make them more accessible and to encourage outdoor activities and participation by all community members.

“Trans Canada Trail has awarded Mississauga First Nation and The Town of Blind River funding to complete a project that engages students and targets awareness of stresses placed on Ontario’s bat population,” said Jon Cada, Mississauga First Nation Economic Development Officer. “The project will result in 31 new bat boxes that will be built from Canadian-sourced white pine and decorated by students.”

The Trans Canada Trail stretches across 28,000km from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic Oceans, The TCT website states. It is the world’s longest network of trails, and a unique legacy for Canadians and visitors to enjoy. Both Mississauga First Nation and Blind River are committed to ensuring their shared portion of this infrastructure is enhanced by experiences that appeal to a wide variety of people.

“Our community welcomes opportunities that involve our youth in environmentally-friendly projects. It teaches awareness, and this ‘hands-on’ project creates a sense of ownership for the youth building them. The bat box project is a win for our trails and community,” said Chief Bob Chiblow, Mississauga First Nation.

“We are excited about continuing our partnership with the Town of Blind River and Mississauga First Nation to support a more sustainable future. We are pairing our relative strengths to make projects happen and to help students to develop their understanding of ecology, sustainability and civil responsibility. What great partners we have in the Town of Blind River and Mississauga First Nation,” said W.C. Eaket Secondary School Principal Brian Beauchamp.

“Council is truly excited that our local students have the opportunity to create bat boxes for our shared portion of The Trans Canada Trail.  Congratulations to our Staff in Blind River as well as Mississauga First Nation for another successful application.  We are eager to see how creative students get with this project,” said Blind River Mayor Sally Hagman.

“While both Mississauga First Nation and Blind River have large infrastructure goals, it’s both fun and rewarding to have this type of project opportunity that allows us to engage our youth with hands-on activities,” said Karen Bittner, Blind River director of facilities and community services.



About the Author: Kris Svela

Kris Svela has worked in community newspapers for the past 36 years covering politics, human interest, courts, municipal councils, and the wide range of other topics of community interest
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