Olivia Doherty and Margy Eno are Winchester residents, Girl Scouts, and avid fans of outdoor activities, including hiking through the Fells. As Girl Scout Cadettes, they had the opportunity to create a project in order to earn a Girl Scout’s Silver Award, and help better their community in the process.
Olivia and Margy were aware of the challenge presented by mosquito management– mosquitoes are a major public health concern, but so are many of the common control methods that we use, especially pesticides.
Their project work focused on the effects of pesticides to the environment, and natural alternatives to these chemicals that could be utilized. You can see their proposed solution below (hint: they are small, brown, and fly!):
(No video? View on youtube)
As Margy said, “I really wanted people to know not only how much toxic insecticides harm the environment, but how much better natural methods of pest control, especially bats, are for the world and everyone living in it.”
Most of our native bat species are now threatened or endangered (many as a result of the white-nose syndrome epidemic). And discovering this information motivated Olivia and Margy to make “bat advocacy” a core part of their project!
According to Olivia, “the best part of this project was when we assembled and painted our bat houses and displayed them at Town Day. One person asked us to put up a bat house in her yard, and I am looking forward to that…”
We encourage all of the community to join in the good work of Margy and Olivia, and support your local bats!