In several of the city parks and the Council Grounds State Park, you may run into an unusual looking brown box high up on a 4 x 4 post. These brown boxes are actually bat nursery boxes for bats to live in and raise their young.
Constructing and placing these boxes in several of the city parks were part of Isaac Huftel’s Boy Scout Eagle Project required to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. The houses were constructed in April and May with guidance from Mr. Pugh from the Prairie River Middle School who is an Eagle Scout himself, along with help from fellow Troop 599 scouts, their parents, and friends. The houses were then placed in the parks in June.
Many people don’t have a high regard for bats, but they are very beneficial creatures. Just one bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes an hour. Communities and agricultural areas with high bat populations have far fewer annoying insects than areas that don’t.
The project was made possible with generous donations from the City of Merrill, The Council Grounds State Park, Home Depot, Northcentral Wisconsin Rehabilitation Associates, and Fleet Farm.