Bat Houses Building Project
Starting in June 2017, a community volunteer, Phillip Wilson provided background information and building plans for a Conservation Commission sponsored bat house project. Phil built two prototypes and prepared literature for a public presentation which he gave in July at a well attended community program. On October 7, 2017 volunteers and Conservation Commissioners joined Phil to build and paint 12 bat houses. Several smaller bat houses were donated to the project. In March, siting locations on town-owned property were evaluated for optimum use by bats, selected, and permission to install requested. Approval to use the sites was requested and approved. Finishing touches were added to the first four houses to be installed. By mid-May installation could begin.
The first set of four bat houses were sited and installed on hemlock poles at Nelson Duba Field on May 19, 2018. As recommended, four bat houses were mounted (groups of two or more) and placed next to the Gihon River (within a ' mile of fresh water.) Four adult volunteers and one youngster joined four Conservation Commission members to hoist the houses.
Additional bat houses will be installed at the Beard Recreation Park, McCuin Island, and in the green space on Wescom Road in the next few weeks. The Conservation Commission is installing three large and one small bat house at each site.
This project has utilized a 2017 Tiny Grant award through the Vermont Conservation Commission Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation as well as volunteer labor.
Built community awareness about the importance of bats and their habitat needs.
Fifteen bat houses were constructed and installed with volunteers joining the project at each phase offering a learn-by-doing experience.
Volunteers were inspired to offer to monitor the bat sites in the future.
Team leader volunteer, Phillip Wilson
Town & Village of Johnson
Johnson Conservation Commission
Phillip Wilson envisioned the project and provided leadership from start to finish.
Conservation Commission member Noel Dodge, who works for the VT Department of Fish and Wildlife brought a wealth of knowledge to the project.
Ideal installation conditions are dependent on the flow of the Lamoille and Gihon Rivers during this wetter than usual Spring.