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City of Janesville Partners with Boy Scout Troop 539 in Bat House Project

Post Date:08/09/2018 11:09 a.m.

According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (WDNR), the bat population in Wisconsin is declining.  Bats are a vital part of many ecosystems. They are pollinators and seed-dispersers for many plants, are major consumers of agricultural and forest pests, and as predators of biting insects, bats play an important role in reducing risk of insect-borne diseases.

The City of Janesville recently partnered with St. Williams Scout Troop 539 to build three bat houses for downtown Janesville.  According to City Engineer and Scoutmaster of Troop 539 Mike Payne, “A number of scouts were working on Citizenship in the Community merit badge which requires community service hours.  Assembling the bat houses was a great partnership with the City of Janesville as the scouts learned to read/understand project plans, organized an assembly line approach, and involved all their teammates to accomplish a common goal.  St. Williams Troop 539 appreciated the opportunity to partner with the City of Janesville for a real project to make a positive impact on the community.”

Parks Director Cullen Slapak and the Janesville Parks Division were also instrumental in this project.  According to Parks Supervisor Ethan Lee, “The Parks Division was happy to partner with St. Williams Boy Scout Troop 539 to build and install bat houses for downtown Janesville.  This project helps to create suitable habitat for bats in an urban environment that otherwise does not provide the best shelter for bats.  Bats are an important member of the ecosystem; consuming hundreds to thousands of insects per night.  The increase in bats and decrease in the number of insects is a win-win for downtown Janesville.”

As Wisconsin’s Park Place, the City of Janesville prides itself on its beautiful outdoor areas and public spaces.  Bats help control insects and create a more balanced ecosystem. While some might fear bats, they would be happy to know the average little brown bat, among the most common in Wisconsin, consumes about 3,000 mosquitoes every night! (

The bat houses were installed in three locations: near the river steps northwest of Bodacious Brew, 210 S. Water Street near Hedberg Public Library, and at the planting bed east of the Outdoor Fitness Court (Court and River Streets).

For questions about this partnership or project, please contact Parks Supervisor Ethan Lee at or call (608) 755-3025.

Bat houses photo Troop 539

Finished Bat House

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