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The Chautauqua Bird, Tree and Garden Club will hold a major fund-raiser July 24 to support its bat preservation project and many other projects it sponsors at the Chautauqua Institution.

The club's House and Garden Tour includes the opening of 12 historic homes to the public from 1 to 5 p.m.

Among them will be the cottage where the famous inventor, Thomas A. Edison, often summered. Edison was married to the daughter of Lewis Miller, one of the founders of Chautauqua. The cottage is still the summer home for his descendants.

The key component to the success of the bat program, sponsored by the women's club, was to design a new house that bats would like.

Most of the bats had been excluded from their Victorian attic homes as human space became scarce. The new homes, it was hoped, would halt, or at least a slow down, the noticeable out-migration over the last few years of these incredible mosquito eaters.

The three-year program has cost $24,000.

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