Wetland conservation brings pair of Arkansas teens to Canada

Oak Hammock Marsh, Man., August 12, 2008— 18-year-old Art Singleton of Monticello and 15-year-old Dax Baker from Fort Smith are enjoying an insider’s look at the world of conservation, while enjoying a fully-sponsored trip to learn about some of Manitoba’s world-class wetlands and the importance these wetlands have for the continent’s waterfowl.

Baker and Singleton joined 10 other teens at Ducks Unlimited Canada’s (DUC) 14th annual Great Greenwing Adventure in Manitoba from August 8-15. They were selected for the travel exchange opportunity while at the Ducks Unlimited Greenwing Conmservation camp in Arkansas in February, giving them the chance to travel north and experience a whole new world of wetlands.

“I was very excited and honored to be picked for the trip,” said Baker. “It’s exciting to come to a different country and see where our ducks come from, to see the habitat.”

Singleton agrees. “I was screaming with excitement when I found out. We’ve been told the ducks are in breeding pairs up here, but we only see them in flocks down south. Now, we can see the nesting sites and see the wetlands where ducks breed.”

Both teens are avid waterfowlers, and are interested in conservation to help ensure that wetlands remain a reality for future generations. “This is a great hands-on experience with wetland conservation, so that we can get other people interested in keeping wetlands around for a long time, instead of disappearing,” said Baker.

The pair will visit Oak Hammock Marsh and Delta Marsh this week, studying wetlands and waterfowl alongside some of the country’s top wetland biologists. And although there’s plenty of fun planned, the experience will help give Singleton and Baker skills and knowledge that will provide a great advantage for them in future studies and work endeavors.

Past Great Greenwing Adventure participants have gone on to careers in science, conservation and resource management, while others use their new skills and conservation ethic in different ways. Nathalie Bays, education coordinator for Oak Hammock Marsh and an organizer of the Great Greenwing Adventure couldn’t agree more.

“The beauty of this camp is that we’re out there creating relationships with nature,” she said. “Our goal is to raise awareness about wetland and upland conservation, but getting hands on experience is the way to do it. Then, the desire to conserve these special places just falls into place.” Bays said the group will learn wilderness skills and wetland ecology through activities like bird banding, invertebrate sampling, radio telemetry, geocaching and much more.

The Great Greenwing Adventure runs until August 15, based at Oak Hammock Marsh in Manitoba. For information, interviews, or photos, please contact:

Leigh Patterson, Corporate Media Relations Specialist
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Phone: (204) 467-3306 / Toll-free: 1-800-665-3825
Email: l_patterson@ducks.ca