Nocturnal blood-sucking vampire swinging in dark, humid environments is what comes to my mind when I think of bats. But, a professor from University at Buffalo has something else to say. Professor Joyce Hwang sees these creepy animals as pest-controllers and flower pollinators. Since she believes them to be one of the most vital animals in our ecosystem, the environmentalist designed a structure for them, which she calls the “Bat Tower”.
Designed to encourage bats to concentrate their pest-fighting skills in a specific area, the 12-foot bat apartment building is not a Bat Tower but also stunning piece of art. Part of Griffis Sculpture Park, the structure is an effort to address the relationship between architecture and ecology. The building incorporates tiny crevices made from plywood and dimensional lumber. In order to create a warm, dark place for bats to go after dusk, Hwang used dark wood panels on the roof.
Taking help from her students, Hwang also planted spicy herbs like chives and oregano to make an inviting environment for bats. The Bat Tower could be a great help to educate people that the flying mammals are a valuable part of the local ecosystem. She received a $10,000 grant from New York State Council to create something ecologically artful. The Bat Tower will be dedicated on October 2.