GOING BATTY: OPG Visitor Centre hosts bat workshop

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CORNWALL, Ontario - This may not be Gotham City, but Cornwall has its very own 'Batman.'

The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences and Ontario Power Generation are going batty.

The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences and Ontario Power Generation want you to explore the important role bats play in natural ecosystems and learn more about some of the threats facing bat populations around the world.

Dr. Brian Hickey, who is currently undertaking a special bat research project here in eastern Ontario, will be speaking at the St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre in Cornwall on Wednesday, July 23, between 7 and 9 p.m.

The 'Bat Workshop' is free and open to the public.

Hickey is a research scientist, ecologist, and educator at the river institute in Cornwall. 

He has studied bats in North America, Mexico and Africa, and is one of Canada’s leading authorities on bat ecology.

“Bats are amazing animals and despite their false reputation for flying into hair and carrying disease, with more than 1000 species worldwide, they are one of the most diverse and ecologically important groups of mammals on the planet,” said Hickey. "This time of year we typically see an increase because the young are just learning to fly."

Workshop participants will also learn about the nocturnal animal's interesting characteristics and behaviours.

"His interest in all living things, combined with his fascinating photos and engaging speaking style come together for a presentation that the whole family will enjoy," said Karen Cooper, the river institute's communications/community action officer. "Visitors just might also get an opportunity to see the real thing."

The OPG Visitor Centre also offers displays and interactive exhibits that describe the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project construction story and its effects on the nearby communities. 

Visitors can also learn and observe how OPG safely generates electricity at its nuclear, thermal and hydro generating stations located across Ontario. 

Visit www.opg.com/stlawrencevisitorcentre for details, or call 613-932-4563 ext. 3523. The OPG St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre is located at 2500 B Second Street West, Cornwall.

For more details and information about this event and other river institute summer programs, such as the Eco-Friends Summer Day Camp for children, visit www.riverinstitute.ca or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Organizations: Ontario Power Generation, St. Lawrence River Institute, OPG Visitor Centre Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre Power Development

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario, North America Mexico Africa Canada St. Lawrence Seaway

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