Steven L. Abrams
Mary Lou Berger
"An equal opportunity
Baby Gator at Daggerwing Gets a Name
Daggerwing Nature Center’s 2-year-old resident American alligator had outgrown his home, so he was returned to the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and replaced with a new hatchling. The baby gator needed a name, and for the second consecutive school year, third-graders from Hammock Pointe Elementary School were invited to participate in an alligator naming and artwork contest.
The children learned alligator basics, such as where the reptiles live, and how they interact with their environment and with humans. Then each student wrote an essay suggesting a name for the little gator, and each created a work of art depicting an alligator.
Winning entries were selected by the Friends of Daggerwing Nature Center, Inc. and announced during a special ceremony. The student finalists and their families had an opportunity to explore the nature center, exhibits, animals, and view the artwork and essays of all the finalists.
Kevin Figueroa was selected as the naming contest winner. His choice was Sani, which means “the old one” in Native American Navajo. Kevin’s essay explained that this name is fitting because alligators have been around for millions of years.
Audrey Anderson was the artwork contest winner. Her piece was done in collage style and incorporated the alligator’s habitat.
The winners received trophies and goodie bags, and the essay and artwork are now on permanent display at the nature center. The contest reaffirmed Daggerwing’s relationship with local students and the western Boca Raton community. It was designed to incorporate nature into the Hammock Pointe’s curriculum through cross-curricular teaching.
Hammock Pointe art teacher and nature enthusiast Sirce Giveon coordinated the contest within the school. The alligator theme was used to tie together the subjects of science, language arts, and visual arts.
The alligator naming and art contest was a success for both the nature center and the school. Sani is available for viewing in the exhibit hall during regular nature center operating hours. The public is invited to meet and learn about Daggerwing’s new resident and watch him being fed during the “Alligator Feeding” program on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 3:15 p.m.
Daggerwing Nature Center is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and is located in South County Regional Park at 11200 Park Access Road, off Cain Boulevard between Glades Road and Yamato Road, west of Boca Raton. Visit our website for more information.
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