At DeSoto Caverns we love animals, education, and fun! And few things get us more excited than when we get to be involved in a project that merges these great elements together. Mrs. Melea Kerbi, a teacher at Childersburg Middle School, reached out to us about a creative initiative to allow her students to play a role in making history at DeSoto Caverns. When Childersburg’s fifth grade students learned what a positive role bats had on our local environment, they decided to team up with DeSoto Caverns to #savethebats! They created several bat house models and the winning model will be built and placed at DeSoto Caverns for a special bat friendly environment.
We are so happy to work with students who are excited about raising awareness both about the positive affects bats have on their environment and removing some of the myths that are related to bats. Bats have played a significant role in the history of our cave including their guano being used during the Civil War to make gunpowder. Bats are very shy creatures, so our tourists rarely get to see them, but they may notice their positive effects on the environment. Bats are known to eat between 6,000 and 8,000 insects in a single night, so if you notice that our grounds have less insects, you can thank our bats.
The bright students from Childersburg Middle School wrote a articles on bat awareness, created multimedia presentations about bats and their involvement in our ecosystem, and also created models of a bat habitat. Joy Sorensen, the President of DeSoto Caverns and bat enthusiast, went to Childersburg Elementary to listen to the many presentations given by Childersburg’s Fifth Grade students. Joy said, “I was very impressed by everything from the presentation skills to the passion for saving the bats shown by the whole of Childersburg Middle School. They all did such a fantastic job that it was hard to choose the winning bat house design and the best written article. I am grateful to everyone from the teachers to the students for their involvement in creating a place for bats here and I know the bats will appreciate their new home!”
We will be installing the winning bat house created by Robert Barnett, Allie Williams, Xavier Duncan, and Mya Vincent in our park. We are also featuring the winning article on bat information written by Brittany Caton, Zora Cox, Jacob Emfinger, and Vaughan Reynolds. If you would like to read their article, please click here.