Towamencin OKs 'Insect hotel' for Fischer's Park


HomeHome / News / Towamencin OKs 'Insect hotel' for Fischer's Park

May 24, 2023

Towamencin OKs 'Insect hotel' for Fischer's Park

TOWAMENCIN — A township park could soon have a new attraction – attractive to

TOWAMENCIN — A township park could soon have a new attraction – attractive to the smallest critters that visit.

Towamencin's supervisors have approved an "insect hotel" at Fischer's Park, after hearing from resident Grace McGeehan about the benefits of doing so.

"Unlike bees that can cause health issues and allergic reactions, beetles and ladybugs are friendly to all humans. And they also help to save our environment from crop-eating bugs," said McGeehan.

Currently a junior at North Penn High School, McGeehan told the supervisors that a requirement of her engineering academy program is to construct and install some sort of project, and she initially thought of doing a lending library at Fischer's until talks with the township's open space and parks board.

As she spoke, the student showed the supervisors a series of slides, including one with a photo of an example of such a hotel, a wooden birdhouse-like structure about 20 by 20 inches, likely about one foot above the ground, made from recycled wood and with different sections filled with stone, sticks, and other materials from the park for bugs to build their own abodes.

"They include nesting materials, for different insects to go inside of them. These help, because they provide shelter for insects, and they help pollinate plants," she said.

The best place for the insect hotel would be facing south, near plants and flowers that already exist in a park, and likely also near a walking trail, McGeehan added. Supervisor Joyce Snyder asked if the beetles and other insects attracted by the hotel would eat spotted lanternflies, the invasive insect that has taken over much of Pennsylvania in recent years, and McGeehan said she did not know.

"Anything that would eliminate those, would be just fine with us," Snyder said.

Supervisor Rich Marino then asked when McGeehan would start construction on the hotel. The student answered that she's already started building the house, and her class project is due Jan. 10, so she would work with township parks staff to install it before then. Board chairman Chuck Wilson then asked how and where it would be mounted or installed, and McGeehan said she was open to feedback.

"It could be set on the ground, or it could be hung on a tree, just with a nail," she said.

Parks and open space committee chairman Joe Meehan then said that group "is very much in favor of this kind of a display, and a habitat for the insects. We would actually like to see more of them."

"I think that they’re educational, it helps the young people see and know that many insects are in trouble, and this is a way that you could help them out," he said.

During recent visits to the park, he added, Meehan has seen "kids just walking in the woods, will stop and just create (a habitat) out of the materials that are just there on the ground."

"They just put it all together in a certain way, and make the same thing, like an insect hotel. This one is a little more formal, but it's just a great thing for education and for the parks," he said.

In fall 2020 into 2021 the parks board discussed, and supervisors then adopted, a master plan update spelling out future upgrades they’d like to see at all township parks, then in summer 2021 the supervisors approved a memorial garden to honor a young resident who died during a 2020 flood. Marino asked if Meehan or the committee had any input as to where the hotel should go, and the latter suggested along a trail, perhaps near the Metz Road entrance to the park.

"Just select a spot along that trail somewhere. I believe there's a little gazebo or trellis structure back in that same area, maybe somewhere near that," he said.

"It's back away from the trail, where it's not going to be any problem with mowing, you can set it right on the edge of the woods right there. I don't think that's a problem at all, coming to an agreement on where to put it," Meehan said.

The supervisors then voted unanimously to allow the insect hotel, and Wilson wished her luck with doing so. Towamencin's supervisors next meet at 7 p.m.. on Jan. 3; for more information visit

Sign up for email newsletters

Follow Us