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Highlands Ranch DU teams up with Cub Scouts on Earth Day

DU, Cub scouts support community, waterfowl with wood duck nest building project
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  • (Left to right) Cub Scouts Jacob Ross, Eric Lopushansky, Diego Desilva, Brendan Reams and Brandon O’Hearn show off their wood duck nesting boxes.
    photo by Erik Wettersten
  • Cub Scouts Diego Desilva and Eric Lopushansky building a wood duck nesting box.
    photo by Erik Wettersten
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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo., April 29, 2011 - In honor of Earth Day 2011, the Highlands Ranch Chapter of Ducks Unlimited worked with Cub Scout Pack 730 Webelos II Den 3 to construct four wood duck nesting boxes to be placed near nesting and resting ponds in the Backcountry Wilderness Area of Highlands Ranch.   

This community effort started last spring when Highlands Ranch Community Association employees noticed wood duck pairs frequenting ponds in the Backcountry Wilderness Area.  BWA Supervisor Mark Giebel approached the Highlands Ranch Chapter with the idea of building duck nesting boxes for placement in the BWA to encourage the wood ducks to nest and reproduce annually in the area.  The Highlands Ranch DU Chapter turned to the Cub Scouts, who were looking for projects to complete their Craftsman Activity Badge, to help with the construction of the nesting boxes.

To support the request and needs of BWA staff, four nesting boxes were completed on Earth Day 2011, which fell on Friday, April 22.  The nesting boxes will be placed in or near existing ponds in the BWA in the next few weeks.  Commonly referred to as "wood duck boxes", the duck nesting boxes produced by this community effort help support and encourage nesting of all cavity nesting ducks, such as wood ducks, Barrow’s goldeneyes, common goldeneyes, hooded mergansers, common mergansers and buffleheads. They traditionally build nests in abandoned woodpecker holes or natural tree cavities caused by disease, fire or lightning. These ducks will also use a constructed nesting box.

Steve Ross, area chairman of the Highlands Ranch Chapter, said, "Since starting in 2006, our chapter has raised more than $40,000 annually, which helps to fund numerous wetlands and conservation projects throughout North America, but it’s especially rewarding to help conserve and foster wildlife right here in our own community.  And we couldn’t have done it without the help and effort of the Cub Scouts."

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