Local Boy Scout’s leadership project helps wildlife at Mill Creek Park

The Mill Creek Wildlife Sanctuary has more than 225 species of birds, like shorebirds, wading birds and wood ducks

Wants to save Mill Creek Park wood duck population

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – In order to move into the Eagle Scout level of Boy Scouts, you’re required to complete a leadership project.

A Canfield Boy Scout was thinking “outside the box” when it came to his leadership project. Luke Bowser found that the size of Ohio’s wood duck population was fluctuating throughout the years, and that locally, these ducks have been on the decline.

“Wood ducks in Ohio are becoming endangered because we are cutting down a lot of trees and a lot of the wetlands are drying up because people are going out and developing,” Bowser said.

The Mill Creek Wildlife Sanctuary has more than 225 species of birds, like shorebirds, wading birds and wood ducks.

So, Bowser decided he wanted to help these animals at Mill Creek for his project.

“Wood ducks, they usually nest in open cavities in trees, and that’s kind of hard to find,” Bowser said.

So, he knew the ducks needed a new home.

“I built five wood duck boxes and installed them, they are made of cedar so they’ll last and it’s a great home for them to live in,” Bowser said.

With some help from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources he was able to learn all about the birds and how to install the new box homes.

“Wood ducks are territorial, so they have to be spaced out evenly or else they will go in and kill each other and eat the babies. So, [ODNR] measured out to where all of the water lines would be because every post has to be a certain amount above the water,” Bowser said.

Because these new boxes could attract more wood ducks to Mill Creek, Bowser said he is going to continue to work with the park to keep the wood ducks thriving.

“And help them empty out the boxes and re-stuff them because I would like to see how they are being used, because they should last a long time,” he said.

You can go and check out the new boxes at the Mill Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and see how they are helping the wildlife in Youngstown.

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