November 8, 2018 |

Students at Minnewaska Area School, Minnewaska, MN, worked with a specialist in the construction and placement of Wood Duck houses.

Jodee Lund's "Banding Together for Wildlife" received $4,200 in total funding to fund a partnership with the Department of Natural Resources where student participants will work with a specialist in the construction and placement of Wood Duck houses.

Thanks to West Central Initiative, a regional community foundation based out of Fergus Falls, MN, for supporting our Minnesota Grants in Place program.

We are pleased to provide the following update from Ms. Lund:

"I am happy to report that our project is complete! We ran our camp from July 30-August 2nd. We had 52 students participate and we built 15 wood duck houses. First, students researched to learn about wood ducks and wood duck houses. Then, we had John Maile, DNR Conservation Specialist, come in and provide additional information about wood ducks and conservation. Next, students developed blueprints and prototypes of their houses. This reinforced the design/engineering process that we use and stress in all of our Minnewaska Makery programs and camps. Finally, we rotated groups of students in our shop area to bring their designs to life.

While most designs were the same, students were able to get really creative with the appearance of the duck house. Their main challenge was redesigning the duck houses to look more natural to better fit their environment. On the last day, we spent the afternoon installing the duck houses around wetlands in the area. This was not only a great experience for kids, but the camp leaders as well. It was so much fun for the adults to watch students grow and change in four short days. Students had to get outside of their comfort zones in many different ways: working as a team with students from different grade levels and schools, learning and applying the design and engineering process, and understanding the true meaning of failure (first attempt in learning) and persevering through daily challenges.

A special thank you to our camp leaders: Nate Lund, Lukas Gotto, Steve Entzi, and Deidre Williams. We will officially complete this project in May when we go with our DNR specialist, John Maile, to see how successful our houses were and band the ducks who took to living in those houses."

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