The historic Peachland School, which now serves as the Peachland Art Gallery, is in need of a roof replacement. (Peachland Art Gallery)

New lighting, green roofs proposed for Peachland bat conservation

Council will discuss the proposal during its Tuesday meeting, Oct. 27

Bat lighting and green roofs are the way to go to keep Peachland a bat-friendly community.

That’s what the Bat Education and Ecological Protection Society (BEEPS) is proposing to the district.

Over the past year, BEEPS has been researching ways on protecting and enhancing bat habitat in Peachland, and the society is now presenting information on two approaches it believes will do just that.

Green roofs are, in essence, grassed roofs or rooftop gardens, where a layer of water-resistant fabric is placed on the roof, followed by soil and plants. Plants can include herbs, grasses, mosses and drought-tolerant succulents.

BEEPS indicated in its report that having green roofs near the bat colony at Peachland’s historic schoolhouse will enhance the colony’s feeding site, as the plants on the roof will attract pollinators such as moths, butterflies, flies and bees, insects that the bats eat. This way, both insect and bath populations will increase.

The second proposal is to install bat-friendly lighting in the district. BEEPS said this kind of lighting must meet three conditions: the lights must be able to provide urban light, they must attract insects and thus, create a foraging site for the bats, and they must be non-damaging to bats’ eyesight.

Installing LED lights along arterial highways, collector highways and local highways are being proposed for the district, following a staggered spacing pattern.

Bat-friendly lighting will cost approximately $7,500 per light standard and an additional $300 per head. If the district were to install green roofs, it would cost Peachland $6 to $8 per square foot, with additional costs related to installation labour as well as ongoing maintenance.

The District of Peachland’s council will provide a decision on Tuesday night, Oct. 27.

READ: B.C. bats do not carry COVID-19: Community program expert

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
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