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Today's Family Magazine

Girl Scout Silver Award candidate builds and installs mallard nesting tubes

Mar 07, 2017 10:44AM ● By Today's Family

Aly Brandt (Girl Scout Silver Award candidate) and her stepfather, Chris Smith, installing a mallard nesting tube at Frohring Meadows in Bainbridge Township.

Mallard ducks will be pleasantly surprised when they return to three Geauga Park District parks this spring.
Aly Brandt, a nine-year member of Chagrin Falls Girl Scout Troop 71236, has begun installing five mallard nesting tubes that she built while working toward her Silver Award, which is the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Three tubes were installed at Frohring Meadows in Bainbridge Township on Saturday, March 4. Tubes will also be installed soon at Orchard Hills Park in Chesterland and Walter C. Best Wildlife Preserve in Munson Township.
Aly is an eighth-grader at Chagrin Falls Middle School.
This project means a lot to the parks in a few different ways, said Jen Weitzel, a Geauga Park District land steward who coordinated the project with Aly.
“What Aly built will provide safe nesting habitat for the mallard hen, and increase the likelihood of a successful nest. Nesting tubes greatly decrease predation to the nest,” Weitzel said. “This project will also be a nice addition to our parks because the general public usually does not get to see a mallard hen nesting, and these locations can also be used for interpretive programs by the naturalists.”
The Silver Award project gives Girl Scouts a chance to show that they are organized, determined and dedicated to improving their community. Finished projects should have lasting, educational benefits to the community. For hers, Aly wanted to do something that would also have a lasting benefit for animals, which she loves, wrote her mother, Kelly MacKenzie-Smith.
“With the help of the Geauga Park District, this has become possible, supporting their need for mallard nesting tubes in three parks that have marshlands,” said her mom.
In recognition of Aly’s efforts, which are in line with its mission for habitat conservation, Ducks Unlimited has agreed to provide her with a free Greenwing membership.
“The Geauga County chapter is fortunate to have the financial support/underwriting for Greenwing memberships,” said Scott Paschke, regional director for Ducks Unlimited.
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