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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
October 21, 2010     Tri-County News
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October 21, 2010

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Thursday, October 21, 2010 dial' 11 11'!1 tIL ' - 'Brad's Birdhouses' in the park [ By lean Doran Matua, Editor Brad Mies, son of Linda and Brian Mies of Kimball, is Kimball's most recent Eagle Scout. Number nine, if anyone's counting. To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, a young man must complete a project that involves coordinating volunteers and be located on non-private land. He must keep (and present) meticulous records. And any funds for the project must be raised by donations. Brad started his project in March 2010: building and installing eight bat boxes and three wood duck houses in Willow Creek Park. Each bat box can house up to 20 bats in a separate sleeping chamber. Each night the bats emerge and consume up to 1,000 mosquitoes. (Eight boxes times 20 bats, that means as many as 160,000 fewer mos- quitoes each night in Willow Creek Park. Thanks, Brad!) The idea actually came to Brad when he and the Boy Scouts were removing an old bridge from the park and they were so badly bitten by mosquitoes. The bat box design is Brad's own. He took about three designs for boxes, com- bined them, and added extra features. (For instance, all the bat droppings fall onto a special platform to be blown away by the wind; no clean-up.) The bat boxes are best placed about 8-10 feet off the ground, pref- erably on a large tree, says Mies. He also noted that the most common bat here is the little brown bat. There also is a big brown bat, but it is less prevalent. The Kimball Legion and Kimball Lions donated money for the project. Kim- ball Boy Scouts constructed the boxes and later installed them in the park. The addition of three wood duck homes to the project seemed natural for Brad Mies (second from left) supervised other Scouts in making Brad. He saw that there were none near the creek, and thought that the box houses might attract the colorful birds. "I thought they would be a nice addition to the park," he said. Each box will hold one wood duck. The boxes are placed near the creek, as wood ducks prefer to live near food sources but not too close. Brad is a sophomore at Kimball Area High School. At 16, it's a bit early to be thinking of future careers, but he'd like to do something outdoors. Marine biology is one possibility. There are three levels of Palm Awards beyond the Eagle Scout rank in Scouting. But they must all be achieved by the age of 18. Mies has nearly completed the first level Palm, bronze. Through the process, Brad has learned a lot. "I've met new people, been the only leader in a big project, and have the pride of being an Eagle Scout," said Brad. Meanwhile, he'll be building bird houses and bat boxes this winter, prepar- ing to sell them in the spring. He makes wooden homes for bats, wood ducks, wrens, and bluebirds. You'll find "Brad's Birdhouses" again next season at the Wright County Swap Meet near South Haven. P; t[00e 27 A number of Scouts and volunteers helped to build and install the bat and wood duck houses near Willow Creek, a trout stream that runs through the park in Kimball, The project began in March and culminated in the installation of the houses on May 22 this year. Submitted photos. Read all about your neighbors.... Homotown FREEI The Tri-County Community We prot00y cover the Tr/-County area of Stearns, Meeker de Wright Counties. We COS JeT and installing eight bat boxes and three wood duck boxes for Willow bCd peop Creek Park. This project was Brad's Eagle Scout project. His Eagle , Scout ceremony was held recently in the Willow Creek Park shelter, l)Cd St 00cd/fie. Discover our community through the... (320) 398-5000