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Dale Shannon, pictured above, helped his friend, Create Buckhannon member Scott Preston install several homes for wood ducks that are visible from the City of Buckhannon's first scenic overlook. / Submitted photo

Area below Buckhannon’s new scenic overlook converted to a wetlands wonderland for wood ducks in search of a home

BUCKHANNON – Create Buckhannon has established new homes for wood ducks in the wetlands right off Gateway West – also known as the Old Weston Road – just before the Route 33 underpass.

Create Buckhannon member Scott Preston said he and Dale Shannon were inspired to build the wood duck homes after seeing the new overlook that was built as part of the Gateway West Project. If you are leaving Buckhannon, look to the right just before the Route 33 underpass across from Skyway Motors.

“The metal railing over the wetlands looks like a scenic overlook and Create Buckhannon is always looking for things that will interest people in Buckhannon,” Preston said. “Dale Shannon, my buddy who helped do this project, said he lived in Connecticut and remembered seeing wood ducks in a place just like this, and that all it took, a spark of an idea and I said, I’ll take it on.”

But what are wood ducks, anyway?

“Basically, a wood duck is a cavity-dwelling bird,” Preston explained. “They want to go to an old hole in a tree or an old squirrel’s nest – something like that. If we get wood ducks great. If we get another cavity-dwelling bird, that’s just fine.”

Two of the duck homes are built in accordance with Ducks Unlimited specifications. Preston explained the ducks need a swampy area, so the location of the homes is perfect.

“There’s actually a creek that comes out and ties into Finch Run, and there’s running water just in front of one home, so it is a running water location,” Preston said. “The piece de resistance [most noteworthy or prized feature] for the discriminating duck family is the home we are building further back in the woods where it’s on the convergence of what we call the Walmart Creek, and Finch Run, so the ducks have privacy, convergence, and its location, location, location for the discriminating duck family, and I had a blast doing it.”

Lowe’s manager Cody McGee donated the materials necessary to build the duck homes.

“We couldn’t have done it without help from Lowe’s; the cedar wood was probably $200 worth of materials and they’re mounted on poles and all kinds of different things, so Cody was kind enough to donate the materials to us,” Preston said.

Create Buckhannon is also working with Buckhannon Public Works Director Jerry Arnold to erect a plaque on the overlook.

“We’ve made a plaque and Jerry at the city is going to devise a little device, like a point of interest sign, that talks about the wood ducks and the wooded wetlands, and says the project was made possible by Create Buckhannon and Lowe’s.”

The new overlook constructed as part of the City of Buckhannon’s Gateway West project. Some of the wood duck homes are visible to the right of the railing. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik
Preston shows off ‘the piece de resistance’ for the discriminating wood duck family. / Submitted photo
A new wood duck home ready for occupancy. / Submitted photo

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