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Eagle Scouts install bat houses in forest preserve

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Eagle Scout Austin Miles Danielewicz, a member of Troop 40 in Mokena, and fellow volunteers install a rocket-style bat house at Kankakee Sands Preserve in Custer Township this summer. It’s one of three bat houses erected in the Forest Preserve District of Will County preserve in the past two years to give bats new roosting options.

Two Eagle Scouts have installed three bat houses at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Kankakee Sands Preserve in Custer Township.

Austin Miles Danielewicz, a member of Troop 40 in Mokena, installed two bat houses this summer. In 2015, the first bat house was installed by Kenny Parise, a member of Troop 258 in Joliet.

The houses are designed to provide alternative roosting habitat for a colony of big brown bats that lived at the preserve in a barn which was demolished in February 2016.

The district provided the Eagle Scouts with rocket-style bat house plans and installation locations. The Scouts were responsible for getting the funds or donations they needed to build and install the bat houses.

The district selected rocket-style bat houses because they have a high success rate for roosting colonies of bats, are aesthetically pleasing and require no maintenance.