Central Park: Vancouver public golf courses house bats

The park board is installing bat houses at three of its public golf courses this week.

When I heard the news I (jokingly) asked Howard Normann, supervisor of golf course operations for the park board, whether he thought the bat houses will help golfers with their swing.

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And to my surprise, his answer was yes he does, albeit in a roundabout way.

According to Normann, golfers complain constantly that there are too many mosquitoes on the citys public courses. He adds last year was notoriously bad, likely from the wet spring and summer Vancouver suffered.

In keeping with the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an award winning education and certification program that helps golf courses protect the environment, Normann researched and discovered bats are a natural predator of mosquitoes. He also found bat populations are declining due to a loss of natural habitat and roosts. So Normann approached the park board with a plan to erect two bat houses each at Fraserview, McCleery and Langara golf courses. Each of the houses can accommodate up to 300 bats. The program is a natural progression considering the golf courses are home to fruit tree orchards, bird houses and mason bee condos.

So if you get more bats, they eat more mosquitoes and the end result is that yes, golfers will have a better swing, Normann told me laughing.

Vision Vancouver park board chair Constance Barnes will join Norman for the official unveiling of the bat houses at Fraserview Golf Course Thursday, April 5, at 10 a.m.

Good sport

Park board employee Cindy Crapper has been appointed to oversee the city-wide implementation of Canadian Sport for Life.

CS4L, as its known, is a movement launched to improve the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada. CS4L links sport, education, recreation and health and aligns it with community, provincial and national programming.

Crapper will lead the charge for Vancouver Sport for Life under the umbrella of the Vancouver Park Board. Prior to this posting, Crapper held the position of recreation services coordinator for the park board, but the first time I met her she had just rapped her way into the role of torchbearer for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. As part of her application, Crapper rapped a self-penned song professing her dedication to sport and the City of Vancouver, under the moniker Cindy C. Rapper.

Crapper also qualified in javelin and discus for the 1984 Summer Olympics with Team Canada, but was forced to stay home due to a change in policy that saw only the top contenders travel to the Games. Crapper is about as qualified as it comes.

sthomas@vancourier.com

Twitter: @sthomas10

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