Monitoring for bat disease requires your help

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -

Hibernating little brown bats - photo by Alan Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation – Little Brown Bat hibernating in a cave, showing signs of WNS

Monitoring for bat disease requires help from public

WANTED: Reports of dead bats and of bats flying during winter

Date: 5 March 2019

BC bats are threatened by disease and researchers are asking for the public to help. White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease responsible for the death of millions of bats in eastern North America, has moved to the west coast.

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Wildwood Watershed Landowners Learn Frog-Friendly Creek Stewardship

Wildwood Watershed Landowners Learn Frog-Friendly Creek Stewardship

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By Paige Erickson-McGee & Wendy Tyrrell

On November 30, 2018, HAT hosted the workshop Creating Frog Friendly Spaces with Native Plants aimed toward landowners with creeks or wetland areas on their properties. HAT was thrilled to have 22 registered workshop participants, including 10 Habitat Stewards in the Wildwood Creek Watershed. The workshop was held on a HAT Conservation Covenant property in Metchosin where the landowner is also a Habitat Steward with the Good Neighbours Program.

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Adopt a Species for your Sweetheart this Valentine's Day!

BatValentinePosterValentine's day is fast approaching! Are you looking for a gift for that special someone? Look no further than Habitat Acquisition Trust. 

From now until February 14th, donating $25 or more to our Adopt a Species fundraiser through Facebook, will get you (or your Valentine) a special Valentine's day E-card featuring one of our focus species. Choose from a Western Screech-Owl, Red-legged frog, Townsend's Big-eared Bat or Western Painted Turtle. 

Your symbolic adoption will go towards funding HAT's activities on south Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands, including conserving and protecting valuable wildlife habitat! 

Our campaign will continue after Valentine's day, and also makes an excellent gift for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and in memory of loved ones.

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Clicking this button will redirect you to our Facebook page where you can make a donation. Because Facebook charges no fees to Non-profits, 100% of the proceeds will go to HAT's programs! 

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HAT-TY Holidays Open House

Hatty Holiday Dec 13

You're invited to join us in celebration of the holidays and moving into our new home on the second floor of 661 Burnside Rd. E.

***Please note, our office is regrettably not accessible for those with mobility difficulties***

Enter through the set of double doors next to the "Blanshard St Winery", go up the two sets of stairs and take a left when you reach the top. Go past the washrooms on the left and our office is the last one at the end of the hall.

Drop in any time between 3 pm and 6 pm. Refreshments provided and everyone is welcome! Our new home has lots of street parking on Burnside Rd, so we ask that you please use street parking in order to keep 3 parking spots open for the Blanshard St. Winery customers. Thank you so much friends. We look forward to seeing you there! 

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Big Bat Bash benefits HAT’s Stewardship Programs

Written by: Ashlea Veldhoen, Community & Development Coordinator

celebratemetchosinsbats20181028 172133 HDR COLLAGEHAT wrapped up International Bat Week with our Big Bat Bash – a one of a kind art-meets-science celebration of bats and nature conservation in Metchosin. The big event combined HAT’s annual fundraiser dinner with all things batty in an effort to raise funds for our habitat conservation projects in Metchosin and throughout the Capital Regional District. The event was sponsored by the Metchosin Foundation, Vancity, and the Metchosin Community Hall, who generously donated the cost of the hall rental to HAT. 

Read more about International Bat Week here

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Upon entry to the Hall, guests were greeted by HAT friends & volunteers Jenny and Wouter. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

Looking up, were dazzled by an array of intricate wire bats hanging just above their heads. Created by artist Estraven Lupino-Smith, the bats were generously sponsored by the CRD Arts Grant and CFUV FM, who supported this event from its very early stages. 

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Estraven's intricate hand-made wire bats hung just above the heads of guests. (Photos: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

In the Bat Cave, an amazing audio and visual marvel by local artist Estraven Lupino-Smith, Bat Bash guests experienced bats like they never have before. On the stage at the end of the hall, the curtains were closed to create a dark, cave-like atmosphere, and digitally enhanced recordings of bat echolocation were played alongside video of the Metchosin Hall’s very own bats flying against the twilit sky behind the hall. The sounds were an entrancing and perhaps a little spooky series of deep reverberating pops that we hope our guests won’t soon forget. 

Our silent auction featured amazing gifts from generous local artists, artisans and businesses from across the CRD. Among some of our most popular silent auction items were our round-trip vacation to Seattle, Self-Care Packages including massages from CloverCare massage in Sooke and Atman Massage Therapy in Metchosin, Metchosin Jazzercise passes, and a stay at Wildergarden Covehouse.  

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14th Juan de Fuca Scouts leading the bat-themed craft table, where guests donated $5 to paint a bat cut-out in their own style! (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

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All of the bat designs were so creative! Some guests left their designs to be installed on the fence outside the Metchosin Community Hall. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

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Parks Canada helped guests better understand their batty neighbours with a wonderfully fun bat-themed trivia wheel! (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

The 14th Juan de Fuca Scout group were fundamental to the success of this event as well, with leaders Yvonne and Curtis Becker, the Scouts raised $255 for the bats at the Metchosin Community Hall by selling wooden bat cut-outs – graciously made by inmates at the William Head Institution – for guests to decorate at the event. The bat cut-outs will be installed on the fence behind the Metchosin Community Hall, so keep your eyes open for them in the next few weeks! Parks Canada joined in the batty fun with a bat trivia wheel and doling out candy to guests that could give them correct answers to trivia questions. 

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EmCee for the night, HAT supporter Andy MacKinnon did a wonderful job welcoming and encouraging guests to participate in the silent auction and raffle to support HAT’s programs. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018)

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From Left to Right - Brennan Smith, Jill Robinson on guitar, Euan Thomson and Karen Lithgow form The Copper Lights . (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018)

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Estraven had their own table where they sold prints, t-shirts and other amazing gifts. (Photo: W. Tyrrell, 2018) 

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Glow-in-the-dark bat pins designed by Estraven Lupino-Smith. The same bat was used on our event advertising. Bat Pins can be purchased for $10 at the HAT Office. Funds go towards our stewardship programs. Get yours while supplies last. (Photos: A. Veldhoen, 2018). 

At 5 pm the fundraiser dinner began, and, dressed as an adorable bat, our EmCee Andy MacKinnon welcomed guests and shared some kind words about HAT. Andy then graciously welcomed our musical guests the Copper Lights (Jill Robinson, Brennan Smith, Euan Thompson and Karen Lithgow), who donated their time and musical talents to our event. The band kept spirits high with beautiful music and created a lovely ambience for our dinner guests.

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Dinner guests lining up for delicious food. (Photo: A.Veldhoen, 2018) 

Dinner was a delicious combination of locally produced foods. Waste-free cheese and crackers were provided by the Zero Waste Emporium. Our guests lined up along the length of the hall in anticipation for a fresh barbecue dinner from Jones’s Bar-B-Que with both meat-lover and vegetarian options including smoked chicken, pulled pork and Portobello mushrooms. HAT staff and volunteers worked hard to make sure the experience was a real treat for guests. HAT volunteer Jemma Green and friend Daniela Lucchitti spoiled volunteers once again this year with their famous bat cookies, as well! 

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HAT Volunteer & Past Bat Coordinator, Ali Jones with bat cookie. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

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HAT Volunteer, Bob Addley with bat cookie. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

Kitchen volunteers served up a the mains along with sides of baked beans from the Metchosin SIRC, mac n’ cheese from Bubby Rose's, coleslaw from the Market Stores and buns and desserts from Portofino and Royal Bay Bakery made this dinner a dream for barbecue lovers. Guests enjoyed a selection of beer courtesy of Phillips Brewery and other choice wine and beer selections from the Winemaker’s House, Lighthouse Brewery and Vancouver Island Brewery from Spinnakers Spirit Merchants.

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Bat Bash Kitchen Helpers (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

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Habitat Stewardship Coordinator, Paige Erickson-McGee  (right, in bat head costume) and Executive Director, Katie Blake (left) were interviewed at the event by Shalu Mehta from the Goldstream Gazette! Read their exciting coverage here

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Thank you

Thank you to everyone who came together in celebration of Metchosin's bats and HAT's work for bats across the CRD at our Big Bat Bash. In total we had over 300 guests, sold 60 dinners, raffled 6 amazing gifts, auctioned off 20 fantastic packages donated from local artists, artisans and businesses from across the region and raised over $4,000 for our programs!

Special thanks to Elizabeth Easton for planning and helping run the set-up procedures; Karen Mann for planning and leading the kitchen efforts; to the Copper Lights for musical entertainmen; Jill Robinson for musical entertainment and planning support; to Katie Blake for her monumental efforts in securing such delicious food and drinks. And a huge thank you to all of the committee, HAT staff and HAT Board of Directors for helping secure donations for the silent auction!

And a warm thank you goes to our event artists:

Estraven Lupino-Smith,

who not only designed the image for our Big Bat Bash poster, but also created the popular glow in the dark bat pins, a hanging wire bat display but also the Bat Cave experience.

Joanne Thomson

both a volunteer and a contributor to the Big Bat Bash, creating these lovely colouring sheets for children to enjoy at the event and helped in the arrangement of the silent auction items.

And to Wilson Tutube,

a local Nuu-chah-nulth artist who contributed his talents to the silent auction, painting a beautiful bat in his own design on one of HAT’s rocket boxes, donating a bat print and creating a unique bat head costume to use in HAT’s batty programs. Premier Horgan hangs one of Wilson's prints in his office. Read more here.   

Thank you to our volunteers, donors, sponsors and planning committee, whose participation and effort made this event sparkle! 

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