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Nisswa 4-H club makes bat houses for North American Bear Center

The Black Bear 4-H Club of Nisswa hand-delivered two bat houses to the North American Bear Center (NABC) in Ely on Sunday, Oct. 2, closing out a service learning project started last spring.

Submitted photo Members of the Black Bear 4-H club pose with the bat houses they made for the North American Bear Center. Back row from left: Aden Extrand, Ashton Extrand, Tyler Hidde, NABC Director of Education Judy Thon, Dana Hammer, Morena Hammer, Amber Hidde. Front row from left: Braden Capelle, Ava Capelle, Bennet Capelle
Submitted photo Members of the Black Bear 4-H club pose with the bat houses they made for the North American Bear Center. Back row from left: Aden Extrand, Ashton Extrand, Tyler Hidde, NABC Director of Education Judy Thon, Dana Hammer, Morena Hammer, Amber Hidde. Front row from left: Braden Capelle, Ava Capelle, Bennet Capelle
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The Black Bear 4-H Club of Nisswa hand-delivered two bat houses to the North American Bear Center (NABC) in Ely on Sunday, Oct. 2, closing out a service learning project started last spring.

Nine youth and five volunteers traveled to Ely on Oct. 1 and spent the night at the International Wolf Center where they learned about wolves. The next day they toured the NABC.

Youth leader Bennet Capelle said of the wolf center, "We learned that there aren't any timber wolves in Minnesota. We have Great Plains gray wolves. The wolves at the center live in a pen the size of a football field that has many of the things a wolves habitat would have. They also have a retirement pen for a retired wolf named Grizzer."

"At the bear center we learned about bears and watched while a bear named Ted was fed," added youth leader Braden Capelle. "They were very grateful for our help in getting them bat houses."

The project came after club leader Cindy Terwilliger noticed a social media announcement.

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"Last spring I saw a post on NABC's Facebook page asking for volunteers to make bat and bird houses to be placed on their property. The 4-H club voted to make bat houses and made plans to hand deliver them when done," Terwilliger said. "In August one of the bat houses, along with a poster showing what was learned, was exhibited at the Crow Wing County Fair and received a blue ribbon. The kids learned how much effort it takes to make a project like this happen."

Judy Thon, director of education at the NABC, thanked the club for the bat houses and said, "Other groups have said they'd like to make things for us but you are the first group to follow through and deliver something."

The Black Bear 4-H Club plans more field trips for its 2016-17 year.

Related Topics: ELY4-H
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