A local boy scout wants to make a Carthage creek more accommodating for bats.
Triston O’Connor plans to install bat-roosting boxes around a 50-acre section of Nick’s Creek as part of his Eagle Scout service project. During a recent presentation to the Carthage Board of Commissioners, O’Connor explained that bats like to feast on mosquitos, which breed in water.
Placing “bat boxes” near the creek, which connects to Little River, could help limit the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika, West Nile and malaria, according to O’Connor.
“The boxes will mitigate the risk of diseases being spread from bats to humans and other animals,” he said in an interview. “I’m trying to make the biggest impact I can as an individual and do something that could prevent the next pandemic or epidemic.”
O’Connor said the cedar boxes will also provide ecologists with useful data on the number and diversity of bats in the area.
The commissioners were supportive of O’Connor’s proposal. His mother, Jennifer O’Connor, said she was “proud to see him follow through” with the concept.
“I’ve seen so much growth in him as a young adult from the time he came up with this project to now,” she said. “Seeing that he is ready to go forward with this has made me very proud.”
Triston O’Connor is currently raising money to buy materials and an auger. People who wish to donate can email TrisOcTrailToEagle@gmail.com for information.