LIBERTY, Maine — On a recent March afternoon 16 third and fourth graders from Walker School donned their rubber boots to put up wood duck nest boxes on a marsh within the Sheepscot watershed in Liberty. The event was a collaboration between local land trust Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance, Walker School, and Liberty landowner Emory Boyer.
Getting to the stream in the middle of the sedge marsh proved to be more difficult than anticipated due to the recent spate of unseasonably warm days. Students carried nest boxes and posts out into the marsh and helped attach boxes to the posts. They were hopeful that they would see wood ducks take up residence soon after the boxes were up. When back on dry ground, students reported that what they liked most about the outing was “Getting wet!” Parent and chaperone Fran Gonzalez felt that it was one of their best outings of the school year.
The project was part of students’ study of Maine animals and wildlife conservation this spring. Walker School Principle Glen Widmer sees multiple benefits of the collaboration. “The experience of placing the duck boxes gave students a clear idea of what wood duck habitat is like. Not only that, but it gave them a stronger connection to the community in which they live, as they were out working in the field with people from the community.”
Landowner Emory Boyer said he was very satisfied with the next boxes and their placement in the marsh. “I am anxious to see more wood ducks. It’s been four or five years since I’ve had ducks because the old boxes fell over. I’m glad to help keep the wildlife going.”
For more information, call 589-3230 or visit www.swlamaine.org.