SCF Venice Green Team Plans Earth Day Focus on Bats

(Bradenton, Fla., April 9, 2013) — In recognition of Earth Day, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Venice Green Team will host a public lecture "The World of Bats" by Cyndi and George Marks of the Florida Bat Conservancy from noon – 12:50 p.m., Monday, April 22, at SCF Venice, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, building 300, room 307.

The program will include a slide presentation about bats from around the world, illustrating their unusual diversity, unique behaviors and benefits to humans.  Live bats also may be available for viewing.

The Marks have more than 15 years of experience working with the state's flying mammals and have cared for and rehabilitated hundreds of injured and orphaned bats.  In 1994, they founded the Florida Bat Conservancy, formerly known as the Florida Bat Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bat conservation in Florida. They also co-authored "Bats of Florida," the first book completely dedicated to Florida's bats.

Following the lecture, a brief commemoration will be held for the new bat house, a collaborative project that was implementedby the SCF Venice Green Team, Environmental Zoology Club, provost office and facilities staff to educate students and the public about the benefits of bats and to dispel myths about bats.

With increased land development in the area, SCF Venice gives bats a safe habitat and an ample food supply. Bats provide an environmentally safe way to eradicate insects, especially mosquitos. The bat house, which will be constructed by the Environmental Zoology Club and SCF facilities staff, will be used as an educational station near the campus Fit Trail and will help augment class material for SCF biology courses.

Woody McCree, associate professor, art, design, humanities, is chair of the Green Team, a group of faculty, staff and students who design and implement projects that maintain the natural beauty and the environmental significance of SCF Venice.

For more information, contact Beverly Brown, SCF Venice provost office, at 941-408-1404.

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