Bat House Grant Project
Scouts Build Bat Boxes
A group of local Scouts spent time this summer at Harris Shoals Park building bat boxes as part of a Wildlife Viewing Grant the City received from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. In addition to the bat houses, gardens have been planted to provide a food source for the bats. The grant also provided funding to erect educational signage that will raise awareness among the community of the challenges bats’ face and address the opportunities for supporting the bats’ needs while also sharing the benefits to citizens through the reduction of disease.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, bats are very good pest exterminators. “Many bats eat LOTS of bugs! By doing this, bats reduce the amount of pesticides farmers need to use (less pesticides polluting the environment), and they reduce the amount of produce damaged by pests which means more food for us! Scientists estimate that bats in the U.S. have saved consumers more than $54 billion in pest control services every year. Bats have been documented eating bugs that attack pecans, almonds, rice, cotton, corn, coffee, sugarcane, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans.”
Bat Houses Installed
Alex Bishop, Public Works Technician and three other Public Works employees, installed the nine (9) bat houses in three locations at Harris Shoals Park. Six (6) Triple Chamber Bat Houses and three (3) Coveside Bat Towers at three separate locations in the park.
Native Plants Installed
A total of 30 plants of blue, yellow, and pink perrenials and pink muhly grass have been planted in mini-garden plots near each of the three bat house locations in the park.
Signage selected for this project included a ~3.5’ x 6’ recycled plastic message board with an enclosed case that will feature a map of the park showing the bat house locations and a laminated “Bats of Georgia” poster. There will also be a 24” x 24” aluminum sign centered under the case of the message board that will provide information about this DNR Wildlife Grant. In addition, one of the below 16” x 16” aluminum signs will be placed at each of the three (3) bat house locations and provide additional educational information about bats, their habitats, their benefits, how bats may be protected, and feature QR codes for park patrons to access.
Spring 2021 Tours Scheduled
The following two bat tours have been scheduled:
Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 7 PM and Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7 PM
Location: Harris Shoals Park, 1251 Experiment Station Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677
Price: Free, No registration.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Who May Attend: General Public