HACKENSACK, N.J.– Youngsters in Donna Petrin-Wall's class at the Nellie K. Parker School had questions about the city's sparse bat population --and Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse was there Thursday morning to answer them.
"In March, our third-grade class learned about the importance of bats by reading articles, books and viewing videos," Petrin-Wall told Daily Voice. "We learned several reasons why bats have become increasingly endangered, especially in New Jersey.
"We also learned about the benefits of a healthy bat population: Bats help farmers’ crops, lower the insect population and help to prevent diseases."
The students wrote letters to the mayor and Gov. Chris Christie "to express our concerns about the lack of bats in Hackensack," Petrin-Wall said.
"I really admire the fact that our Hackensack students are learning how important a change in the environment can affect our community," Labrosse told Daily Voice.
"I applaud the students' efforts to change this situation," said the mayor, who also answered questions about his life, childhood and role as the city's chief executive. "As we get older we see how our environment is changing. It is essential to learn about our environment from an early age."
Labrosse presented a certificate of admiration to the youngsters, who Petrin-Wall said "wrote letters to him in recognition of their interest and concern about Hackensack’s ecology and the dwindling bat population."
Each student was given a City of Hackensack pin.
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