Whitehall Scout goes to bat for high-flying winged mammals
Steven Evanovich likes those high-flying, sometimes spooky winged mammals for their ability to kill the pesky insects that attack and leave him with itchy bumps and rashes.
“I wore bug spray when I went camping and I still got bit by several mosquitoes,” said Evanovich, 16, of Whitehall. “A lot of people have a misunderstanding about bats. They think they suck your blood. Well, not really, but (people) think they get into your roof and your chimney and they don't like that.”
But, there are benefits to having bats around, like their desire to devour mosquitoes, said Evanovich, who watches bats swoop by his house and above the Whitehall tennis courts at about 10:30 each night.
As part of his Eagle Scout project, Evanovich is seeking to create a safe living space for the regionally declining bat population in several Whitehall parks, he said.
Building plywood framed boxes, 24 inches by 28 inches by 6 inches, with four housing chambers each, as many 100 bats could stay in a given space, he said.
Evanovich approached Whitehall Borough Council with his idea in June. Council members approved the project, with several conditions, in a 5-0 vote, with council members Harold Berkoben and Bill Veith absent.
Evanovich, a member of Baldwin Borough-based Boy Scout Troop 338, plans to work with Whitehall Borough officials to place as many as four boxes each near the Whitehall tennis courts, Prospect Park, Frank Field and Overlook Park.
The areas were selected because bat boxes should be placed on the edge of a wooded area facing south, Evanovich said.
The boxes, which will be built this winter, will be placed on a seven-foot metal pole, to decrease the likelihood that snakes and other creatures can climb the posts, he said. This also should deter vandalism. “Something with bat boxes is, they attract bats and if there's a bat box present, bats will tend to stay out of attics and chimneys and they'll prefer to stay in these bat boxes,” Evanovich said.
The Baldwin High School junior said he plans to send letters to local businesses seeking donations to raise the $50 to $60 needed to build each bat box.
Whitehall Council members quizzed the Boy Scout about his project, asking how long the boxes will last and what type of upkeep they will need.
“It's very low maintenance,” Evanovich said, noting the boxes should last up to six years.
Borough leaders stressed that they want to ensure the boxes meet all municipal codes and questioned how close the bat boxes should be to areas residents frequent.
“I'm just wondering how residents or children using the park area are going to react to seeing a bat,” Councilwoman Kathy DePuy said.
The idea also was intriguing to council members, they said.
“I never knew that existed. That's interesting,” Councilwomen Linda Book said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- First truancy class at West Jefferson set to begin this month
- Brentwood businesses have chance to shine with Oktoberfest
- Community rallies around ill Pleasant Hills woman
- Fundraiser to mark Pleasant Hills library’s 69th anniversary
- Glass Run Road work to continue through November
- Consultant to look at Baldwin chase incident
- Brentwood EMS to remain provider in borough
- Thomas Jefferson fans don’t have to visit the ‘Den’ to get school items
- Baldwin tweaks homecoming this year
- Police seek Baldwin Hockey Club coach wanted in theft
- Suspension upheld for Brentwood police chief