Boosting bats’ roosting structures

Posted on May 28 2019 in Kankakee Valley REMC

When the Porter County chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America was looking to start its next environmental project – roosting structures for endangered bats – members turned to Kankakee Valley REMC for assistance. By mid-March, the project was in full swing with a five-man crew from the line department installing six donated utility poles.   

“Our cooperative is committed to helping the community and the environment,” stated Amanda Steeb, director of marketing and communications for the co-op. “With the co-op’s access to poles, equipment, and labor, it was a great way for us to contribute to this project.”  

The poles were fitted with BrandenBark – a sleeve made of a polymer-based material that mimics the way natural bark separates from a dead tree – creating a narrow roosting space for bats.  

Many populations of bats have been severely impacted by “white-nose syndrome,” a fungal disease that affects hibernating bats. This habitat project was critical to our area because of the important ecological role that certain species of bats, residing in our area, have on the environment. Northwest Indiana is home to many bat species that use the BrandenBark including the Indiana Bat, the Northern Long-eared Bat and the Little Brown Bat.

“We are really excited about this project,” said Izaak Walton League Chapter President Gary Brown. “If it works here, we hope to put more of the same structures up all over northwest Indiana. Bats are fascinating animals and need our help.”  

KV REMC has a long-standing relationship with the Izaak Walton League. A few years back, the cooperative and its employees assisted with the installation of Osprey nesting towers in Porter County. KV REMC has enjoyed working with the Izaak Walton League to support their mission of helping sustain wildlife in our area.