Editor's Note: Pisgah High School (Alabama) teacher Brad Moore received a $1,000 2017-18 Grants in Place award for Eagles Working for Wood Ducks, a project to teach students construction, conservation, chemistry, ecology, and public relation skills. The program is placing wood duck nesting boxes, constructed by the students, on to local cattle farm ponds while measuring water conditions. This involves, but is not limited to nest box construction, contacting local landowners about placement of boxes, installing and maintaining boxes, and monitoring water pH conditions and chemical make-up.
Thanks to Brad for providing this excellent project summary and photos. This project captures the spirit of our Grants in Place program.
By Brad Moore
Eagles Working for Wood Ducks (EWWD) is a program that is constructing, erecting, monitoring, and maintaining wood duck nesting structures across the Pisgah community. By partnering with local farmers, land owners, and local park committees, we are insuring the increased wildlife viewing opportunities for our entire community. The whistling wings and haunting call of the female wood duck has long been absent from our community. Behavioral Science studies have shown that time spent outdoors lowers stress levels and blood pressure. There is simply something soothing and relaxing in nature. We hope to give the residents of our community and added incentive to take advantage of the beautiful region that we live in. natural resources. Wood duck nesting boxes are just one example of the way that we can help conserve our natural resources for future to enjoy.
Through a grant from The Rural Schools Collaborative, the Agrisciences classes at Pisgah High School purchased enough 1”x12” western cedar boards to construct 25 wood duck nesting boxes. These nesting boxes are then distributed to local land owners, as well as the Alabama Department of Conservation of Natural Resources who erects, manages, maintains, and monitors the nesting boxes throughout the year to insure that the nest box is ready to be occupied each spring.
Students learned about construction and wood duck ecology through the EWWD program. A total of 131 students spent time in the shop and classroom, learning about both the necessity and the ease of actually leading a helping hand to animals. Due to the extensive logging practices of the early 1900’s, many trees which served as nesting sites for wood ducks were cut and milled. Wood duck numbers plummeted. By the mid-1900’s, more people were becoming aware of the plight of our natural resources. Wood duck nesting boxes are just one example of the way that we can help conserve our natural resources for future generations to enjoy.
We encourage you to check out our other Grants in Place recipients here.