What are big and black and come out at night? If you guessed bats you are correct! Ainsley Campbell of Texas knows a lot about bats and even more about building bat houses. She got interested because she was concerned about the large amount of insects in her city’s parks. She learned by giving bats a place to live they are more likely to stay in the area and help control pests in a sustainable way. Ainsley placed 11 bat boxes throughout a local park near bodies of water. Building bat boxes may seem like a small project but they will affect the parks for years to come.
In addition to using the project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, Ainsley was a President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) winner. As part of PEYA, she was recognized by Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, during the White House Summit on Environmental Education.
Ainsley plans to pursue either environmental engineering or environmental science at University of Pennsylvania Wharton School in the fall. Who knows, she might end up working at EPA one day!
Megan Gavin is the Environmental Education Coordinator for EPA Region 5 in Chicago, Illinois.