On a mission to build 25 bat houses: Durham’s Bat Rangers are back in action

students listening to Bat habitat presentation

By Jillian Follert

Clarington This Week


A group of Durham kids on a mission to save the little brown bat is back in action this year and looking for the community’s help.

The Bat Rangers from St. Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School in Courtice are working to raise awareness of white-nose syndrome, a disease killing millions of little brown bats in North America.

Last school year, a group of 16 students got the ball rolling with a PSA video.

This year, the group has grown to 36 Bat Rangers in grades 1, 2 and 3 — and their goals have grown too.

The video received more than 100,000 views on Facebook.

Now, the group is hoping to build 25 bat houses, structures that provide bats with a safe alternative to caves, where the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome is found.

“The bats are getting sick,” explains six-year-old Kayla Brocklehurst. “And we need to help them.”

The Bat Rangers started as part of a “deep learning” project spearheaded by teacher Michelle Rodriguez.

She says the students have learned valuable research skills such as how to ask for community help by making a phone call or writing an email.

“This has helped them realize that, even though they’re one little person, they can make a difference. They may be in Grade 1, but they can change the world,” Rodriguez says.

So far, the Bat Rangers have received a $400 donation from General Motors and a donation of wood from Home Depot.

Students at nearby Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School have volunteered to cut the wood.