Mark Jenzen lives in Minnesota Lake, in southern Minnesota. He was a science teacher in the Minnesota Lake and Maple River schools district for his entire career, starting in 1975. Shortly after finding good hunting in the area and making new hunting friends, then RD, Bill Allen, contacted several of the group about starting a DU chapter there. “Our first meetings were in a buddy’s basement and we held our first event in 1980, being very happy we had 70 attendees,” Mark says. They selected Lost Marsh as the chapter name as there was an ongoing legal battle about the draining of a marsh in the area, which has become a MN WMA now. “To date this a bit, we actually bought and moved round bales onto the ice of area wetlands to provide Canada geese nesting spots. Times change.”
Mark served on the committee as a chair, secretary, now co-treasurer and all the jobs a small chapter requires, and says that he enjoys the changing challenges each year brings. They have been sold out as an event for many of the last years, growing to 250, and just held their 35th annual event. “I have had the great joy of helping many of the RDs doing whatever I could. District chairs, zone help, giving young regional science fair participants DU recognition, building hundreds of wood duck houses with area youth, teaching Minnesota Firearms Safety for 20+ years, trying to pass on all the joy waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited has given my family and myself,” Mark says. “Recently I met several great young Gustavus Adolphus College students at the state event and was lucky to have made new friends and helped them by mc’ing their events. It was wonderful fun.”
“The joy and wonder of waterfowl have enriched my life beyond words, but who to better care for them than Ducks Unlimited? With my friends and now my family involved and greatly enjoying the total DU mission, I can only hope many more sportsmen and women join the fight to save our beloved sport.