Mid Michigan College students build houses for the bats

Students at Mid Michigan College have spent the year working together to improve the safety of the local bat population, installing bat houses on the school's Harrison campus.

While that might read as a strange sentence to some, the fact is that bats play an important role in Michigan’s ecosystem. According to Mid, a single bat can eat 6,000 to 8,000 mosquitoes a day and, because of their appetite for insects, bats save farmers $23 billion per year in pesticide costs.

So as Michigan’s bat numbers decline, students in Mid’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society have done something to combat the population loss, building two new bat house communities on the Harrison campus of Mid Michigan College.

"Each year PTK students select a project to complete as a team, and this year they chose to build bat houses and have them installed throughout the forest on the Harrison Campus," says Tammy Alvaro, PTK Advisor at Mid Michigan College.

"Students researched bats, bat population trends, and different bat house structures through online resources, local media sources, and by collaborating with Bruce Barlow, Clare County Wildlife Biologist."

Bats face threats from a variety of sources, including disease, destruction of habitat, and the proliferation of wind turbines. The bat houses provide a haven from some of those threats.

Students installed one group of bat houses along a swampy stretch of Mannsiding Road. A second grouping was installed east of the Poet Family Outdoor Education Center, allowing for easy viewing from the outdoor classroom.

Students installed an informational sign at the latter location.

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