About 100 people, including 40 children, participated in the second annual Allendale Community Field Day, May 18, on the K-8 campus of Allendale Public Schools. The event was coordinated by Peter Riemersma, associate professor of geology at Grand Valley, and Keith Piccard, a science teacher at Allendale Middle School. This year’s theme was “Things That Fly.”
The all-day event included the construction of bird feeders and bat houses and planting butterfly gardens.
“This project is an opportunity for the community to contribute toward the improvement of educational facilities that are accessible to all,” said Riemersma.”In addition to the satisfaction of leading a large group of people working together toward a common goal, we hope to promote interaction and enrich the Allendale community as diverse members of the community make new connections.”
Riemersma said they received help from Allendale Boy Scout Troop 39 with preparations for the bat houses and Grand Valley engineering students helped design the bird feeders. He said Amy Russell, assistant professor of biology at Grand Valley, served as a bat consultant and Grand Valley alumna Holli Ward from Michigan Butterflies Inc., served as a butterfly consultant. Representatives from Vruggink Family Garden helped with plant germination to attract butterflies.
Funding for the project was provided by a grant from the Allendale Community Foundation and PTA dollars.