Connecticut Teenager Spearheads Relocation of Bat Colony

Sometimes, small acts of kindness can make a huge difference. Nathan Lieske, an aspiring Eagle Scout from Watertown, CT, certainly ascribes to this philosophy, as earlier this month, he successfully launched an initiative to relocate a colony of bats to permanent homes after noticing that they were being displaced from their current residence in a local park’s bathhouses.

Gianni DiMeglio

Thanks to Nathan Lieske, Watertown bats now have a permanent place to live.

Despite his young age, Lieske, 15, clearly recognizes that charity can be given to animals, as well as humans. This is what spurned him to recruit his family and a group of 22 of his fellow Boy Scouts to assemble the bats’ new homes, which are essentially boxes similar to birdhouses. And instead of choosing the location of the bat boxes himself, Lieske has also demonstrated that he already understands the value of deferring to the experts, as he has donated the assembled boxes to Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Because bats hibernate during the winter, DEEP is installing the boxes in the park near the bathhouses now, with the hope that the bats will become familiarized with the boxes this fall and hopefully take up residences inside them in the spring, when they’ve finished hibernating for the year.

Lieske estimates that the project took about 115 hours to complete, and his effort to improve the lives of the bats in his hometown have not gone unnoticed by local media or DEEP, which has expressed gratitude to Lieske for undertaking this project out of the goodness of his heart. Because they eat millions of night-flying insects per year, thereby controlling the outbreak of diseases these insects carry, bats provide what DEEP describes as “a tremendous ecological service” to humans, making Lieske’s initiative that much more important to the state of Connecticut and proving that compassion for animals extends to compassion for humans, as well.

For his hard work, Lieske has officially earned the rank of Eagle, which is the highest rank a Boy Scout can hold and normally only achieved by Scouts who are 17 years old and above. On behalf of both the human and the animal residents of Connecticut, a big thank you goes out to Nathan Lieske and his fellow Scouts for making our state a better place to live.

How CT Residents Can Help Victims of Louisiana Floods

When Hurricane Sandy struck New England in 2012, the storm caused so much widespread damage to the state of Connecticut that we were granted emergency assistance from the Federal government in the form of hundreds of National Guardsmen who came to our state to help us in our time of need. Any Connecticut resident can remember the havoc wrought by Sandy four years ago; all of our roads were closed, a huge amount of property was destroyed, and both mandatory and partial evacuations took place across the state of Connecticut. It was a dark time for our state, and some parts of Connecticut have still not fully recovered, years later, much like the state of Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Gianni DiMeglio

Louisiana flood victims are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

Unfortunately, recent rainfall and subsequent historic flooding in Louisiana have decimated the state for a second time, necessitating emergency rescue and widespread evacuations of residents across the state who have lost their homes and belongings to Mother Nature once again. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the state of emergency that Louisiana is in right now, but in light of the fact that we know what it’s like to be hit by a terribly destructive storm, Connecticut residents should consider contributing to charities that are currently on the ground in Louisiana offering support to those in need.

The American Red Cross in Louisiana, in particular, has mobilized to offer practical assistance in the form of providing food and shelter to those in need of these basic resources. You can donate directly to the Red Cross by going to their website at this link and choosing to send your money to the cause named “Louisiana Floods.” If you’d like to donate from your phone, simply text ‘LAFLOODS’ to the Red Cross at 90999 to donate $10 to their efforts.

If you’d like to physically volunteer down in Louisiana, a worthwhile organization to work with is Operation Blessing International, which has dispatched volunteers to help clean up Louisiana and recover and feed victims of the floods who have not yet received the aid they so desperately need right now.

Lastly, there are hundreds of animal shelters in Louisiana that are partially or completely underwater, which has caused the displacement of thousands of animals who need your help, as well. Visit NOLA.com at this link to see a partial list of animal shelters who desperately need donations of money and supplies to help the furry victims of these record-breaking floods – every little bit helps.