Over the past semester Timberlane High School Zoology students applied their classroom experience to a real life concern – how to support declining bat populations by bolstering their habitat.
Timberlane Students took a bat monitoring survey that was conducted by the Beede Site Group and researched four out of the five bat species that were found at the site. After presenting their findings to the Beede Site Group scientists and engineers, the students constructed bat boxes that specifically focused on each of the four species to amplify the bats’ habitat. The students then visited the site to determine the best placement for the bat boxes. The Beede Group provided a bat condominium for the fifth species of bats.
The bat habitat enhancement project is part of the Beede Site Group’s commitment to conservation, and one that has been recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council who recently presented the Beede Site Group with a Conservation Certification.
“The Beede Site Group strives to not only remediate but also help to maintain and restore the inherent ecological value of the property, a good portion of which consists of the forest and native meadow rich with diverse wildlife. We were very impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm the Timberlane students demonstrated with regard to the bat conservation project.” – Michael Skinner, Beede Group Project Coordinator
“It’s rare that students gain an opportunity to collaborate with scientists and engineers on a project which not only benefits their education in the classroom, but application in the field. Students performed independent research on an assigned bat species that once lived in the area, using the information to build the best suited house for that species, making adjustments to the design to encourage and promote roosting for future years. Scholars gained knowledge on the ecological importance bats fulfill in their hometown, balancing the insect population and promoting pollination of various plant-life in the area. Educating the public on local remediation of an area, especially one that has suffered from improper disposal of waste, promotes the growth and understanding of the importance of a balanced and healthy ecosystem, and community involvement to solve a common issue. Thank you to Beede Superfund site’s engineers and scientists for the involvement and real-life application you’ve allowed our students here at Timberlane High School.” – Lauren Mcpherson, TRHS Science Teacher
“This project was a great learning experience that developed our skills for college and provided us with the opportunity for a tactile learning experience, promoting various areas of knowledge such as communication and development of social skills, hands-on building and collaboration in the wood shop class, and application of science in a remediation site. It was nice to be involved in a project so close to home and see the promotion of positive environmental effects in our home town. Although some of us are graduating before we can see the positive influence of our bat houses, we are hopeful to see the ecological changes in the local ecosystem in years to come.” – Class Quote
The Beede site in Plaistow consists of 40 acres in a predominantly forested habitat with a small stream running through it. Out of the 40 acres, one acre is used for wildlife habitat projects. The site was first certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council in 2015 and is unique because there are several projects that focus on conservation, affecting a variety of different organisms including plants, birds and mammals. The projects include a native meadow plantings, nesting boxes installations, brush piles, pollinator gardens and bats boxes. The site is the former location of a state-licensed and regulated waste oil recycling and disposal facility. Operations at the site began in the 1920s, and continued until the state of New Hampshire ordered its closure in 1994. From the 1920’s to 1994, thousands of New Hampshire residents and businesses used the site for disposal of their waste oil, as recommended by the state of New Hampshire. In July 2006, the Beede Site Group, made up of twelve parties (customers of the former operators) agreed to implement a remedy for the site in accordance with the EPA cleanup plan. The group continues to work with local, state, and federal officials to not only clean up the site, but to enhance the natural resources for future sustainable use.
May 23, 2017