On Thursday construction was well underway at Kingsland Bay State Park in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.
It’s all to support a vision of two men from Milton, Joe Gardner and Barry Genzlinger.
“I like to see that bat condo full of bats in the near future,” Joe Gardner said.
The bat condo as he calls it took 100 man hours to build, it sits 8 feet long, by 4 feet wide, and 4 feet tall. This is the second bat condo he had built but says he has built nearly 20 smaller bat homes.
At full capacity, the new condo will house 5,000 bat tenants in the bat folds.
“Bat folds are made from sheets of plywood that are spaced apart by 3/4″. The bats will crawl up inside,” Gardner said.
Gardner teamed up with friend Barry Genzlinger also of Milton and the Vermont Bat Center during the construction phase.
“We have nine species of bats in Vermont, out of those nine, five are either endangered or threaten,” Genzlinger said.
Over the past 10 years, Vermont has seen a sharp decline in the state’s bat population, by 90%. White Nose Syndrome is to blame.
“It makes them itchy during the winter when they should be sleeping. It wakes them up,” Genzlinger said.
When the bats awake mid-winter they leave the caves in search for insects. With no food source, the bats eventually succumb to hypothermia.
As they say, it takes a village, it’s why Green Mountain Power donated resources to build the structure supporting the condo.
“We will be setting four poles and lifting the condo which weighs 1,100 lbs,” Dottie Schnure with Green Mountain Power said.
With the bat condo ready, biologist Alyssa Bennett believes it will help the parks bat population.
“We have a fantastic habitat already for foraging, plenty of water, and open fields that attract insect activity,” said Bennett.
This should be all good news for those hungry bats, they consume 1,000 insects an hour.