Did you know that one little brown bat can eat 60 medium-sized moths or over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one night? Because bats are so important and critical to our environment, I recently decided to take on the mission of building bat houses for my Eagle Scout Project in Boy Scouts.
I am a member of Boy Scout Troop 763, which meets at First Baptist Church, in Midland, MI. I have been in Scouting for 11 years! Ever since I was a Cub Scout, I have wanted to build bat houses for my Eagle Scout Project. I love the outdoors, and especially admire bats in our environment. Therefore, I was so excited when this project became a reality this past Spring.
Most bats spend summers in trees, under bridges or in old buildings where they give birth and raise their young. I wanted to build a home that mimics these natural homes for bats who can’t find a space of their own in a forest. In addition, there is a critical need for these smaller bat houses to be placed in my hometown of Midland. There is a disease called the White Nose Syndrome that is killing bats in our area due to bats living in large enclosures and spreading the disease to each other. Providing smaller houses for bats to live in will help to control the spread of the disease.
With the help of other scouts from my Troop, along with some adult volunteers, we recently constructed 8 bat houses. They were built from treated lumber that was donated by the
City of Midland from ash trees that had been cut down. Recycling is always a good thing! The bat houses will be placed in 5 parks within the City of Midland. We visited each park in order to choose a bright and sunny location at the edge of the forest where the bat houses will be installed.
The installation of these bat houses in the City Parks will benefit the bats, our community and the families that live there, gardeners, and the ecosystem as a whole. Bat houses give the bats a home and in turn, they will eat thousands of insects. Bat houses give the bats an alternative to our homes, thus reducing the chance of human to bat contact.
In regards to the current status of my Eagle Scout Project, I will lead a team of volunteers to install the 8 bat houses in the City Parks by the end of this summer. So, if you are ever visiting the parks in Midland and notice my bat houses, stop and take the time to think about these wonderful creatures and the awesome job they do in protecting our environment!
Tyler Squires – YCC member, Midland