2011 Ecology Committee ReportFeb 19th, 2012 | Category: Ecology
by Nancy Baglan, Chairman
Last summer we continued the successful Ecology Fun program for children ages 4-6 and 7-11, with activities on Monday and Friday afternoons, June 25 – August 16. Attendance averaged about 40 children/day. Because of the large numbers in Ecology Fun, we hired assistants last summer, mostly teenagers already on CSA staff. It worked well. We had several guest teachers: Jay Burt came with Monarch caterpillars and butterflies; Alan Marble (pelts & all) wowed us with his knowledge of Michigan wildlife; Benzie Co. Recycling Coordinator brought her live worm composting boxes; and a local beekeeper came with a portable bee hive. When a few bees escaped and flew around the room, we got an unexpected lesson: Sharon Jones explained that her bees were not aggressive and, in fact, would sit on your finger if you put honey on it for them to lick up. Several children took her advice and made close friends with her bees!
On July 29, the Trustees voted to make Ecology Fun a regular part of the CSA summer programming and to fund a permanent, part-time position for an Ecology Fun teacher/director to begin summer 2012. We are extremely happy with that decision!
Other Highlights of 2011 were:
A third-year Ecology Intern Project was planned, money raised to fund it, and it was implemented in summer 2011. We had two fabulous interns, Katie Hartin and Lauren Hoerr, return to work with us for a second summer. They ran Ecology Fun and followed up on recommendations from the 2010 Ecology Project. They each had research projects, worked on a Forest Preservation Proposal for CSA, and evaluated Crystal Beach and our Lake Michigan Beach for invasive species. They also worked with the Building and Grounds Committee on invasive species, especially, Emerald Ash Borer. Descriptions of their projects are in the Ecology Rack in the Main Office.
July 6. We sponsored an Open Forum “The CSA Forest in the Future.”
July 17-18. BIRD BANDING w/ Prof. Mike Bishop and Benzie Audubon.
July 25. Interns Katie and Lauren presented preliminary summer project results to CSA.
July 28. We sponsored “What’s Going On at the Old Frankfort Golf Course property?” presentation by FALC.
July 31. Presentation on Climate Change by Prof. Bill Barnes.
August 5. ECOLOGY DAY during usual Friday Ecology Fun time. Special presentation by Jim McGrath of Nature Discovery (Williamston, Michigan). He brought live animals, native to Michigan, with him to the Assembly Building and a large group of children and adults enjoyed close encounters with snakes, turtles, frogs, toads, and giant silk moths. This was one of the best things we’ve done!
August 9. Jim Olson of Flow for Water spoke at CSA about Michigan’s Water and Public Trust Doctrine.
August. An Ecology Project for 2012 was approved by the Ecology Committee. We hope to have our interns come back for a short time to follow up on several 2011 project results. During the week of July 30 – Aug. 3, we will host an Ecology Educator to help us assess our forest ecology and Forest Preservation Proposal and to run a series of adult education workshops. Ecology Day will be Friday, August 3, 2012, and will be a CSA Arbor Day – an education and planting event to help increase our tree species diversity.
The CSA Women’s Association has donated $1000 toward the 2012 Ecology Project. We are very grateful for their continuing support for all four years of these projects. We will be seeking individual donations, through the Pilgrim Fund, for the balance. WE THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!