Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 9 am on Sept. 14, 2023, to reflect Sheila Adams’ correct title.
BRINKHAVEN — Thanks to a collaborative partnership, Brinkhaven Park will soon offer hotel accommodations for bats.
“The community has been asking for them ever since I came to town three years ago,” Brinkhaven Councilwoman Sheila Adams said. “Six months ago it was discussed at Brinkhaven council, so I decided to talk with fellow individuals to collaborate.”
Adams and her husband, Dave, are working with the Knox County Park District and the Brown Family Environmental Center and Office of Green Initiatives at Kenyon College to install six bat boxes in the park.
“There are so many bats in town. When we purchased the church and started renovating it for a bed-and-breakfast, we sealed up all of the entrances to the church,” she said. “Now they’re on our patio at night and leaving their droppings. I thought we could entice them to these wonderful hotel boxes.”
Adams connected with Sam Filkins of the Area Development Foundation. In turn, Filkins and Kenyon’s Office of Community Partnerships connected Adams with the BFEC/Office of Green Initiatives.
“The BFEC offers a bat and bluebird house workshop as part of the annual Earth Day Festival, so putting together a half dozen houses was a quick and pleasant task for our land management team,” Dave Heithaus, director of the Office of Green Initiatives, said. “Shane McGuire and Dennis Howell designed and assembled them.
“We hope the houses provide a safe alternative to people’s houses for Brinkhaven’s bats.”
Park district staff talked with the folks who mow Brinkhaven Park, and they agreed to help dig the holes.
“Dave and I will buy the materials and hardware because we want to see things done,” Adams said.
Adams anticipates the boxes will be installed within two weeks.
“It’s just a lot of people coming together and helping each other,” Adams said of the project. “And that’s what it’s all about.”
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