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Building habitat: Local SWCD, DU erect wood duck houses at Summit Lake

Shown with one of the wood duck houses to be erected along the shore of Summit Lake are Nobles SWCD Technician Scott Runck (from left), Nobles County Ducks Unlimited member Jack Black, Nobles SWCD Manager John Shea, DU member Zaydan Abdulrahman, DU President Kevin Black and DU Southern Regional Director Andrew Limmer. (Julie Buntjer / The Globe)1 / 2
Nobles County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager John Shea (left) and Nobles County Ducks Unlimited President Kevin Black, erect a wood duck house near Summit Lake Wednesday afternoon with the assistance of fellow DU members. (Julie Buntjer / The Globe)2 / 2

WORTHINGTON — With gale force winds creating whitecaps Wednesday afternoon across the recently restored Summit Lake north of Reading, members of the Nobles County Ducks Unlimited chapter joined staff from the county’s Soil and Water Conservation District to erect half a dozen wood duck houses along the shoreline.

Kevin Black, president of the roughly 125-member Nobles County Ducks Unlimited chapter, said it’s the first time the local organization has erected wood duck houses.

“We’d do it any opportunity we can get,” he said.

The wood duck houses were provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources office in Slayton, and the local DU chapter and SWCD will provide annual maintenance checks.

It’s hoped that the houses — three were placed on the east side of the restored Summit Lake basin and three on the west side — will lure wood ducks to the site to raise new hatchlings.

Andrew Limmer, southern regional director of Ducks Unlimited, said the site — with its full basin — provides excellent habitat for ducks.

“The DNR reported good success opening weekend,” Limmer said of the Minnesota duck hunting season, which began Sept. 22.

The local DU chapter meets once per year for a membership banquet. It’s the organization’s only fundraiser, Black said. This year’s event is planned for Dec. 1.

The largest DU project in Nobles County is the Swessinger Wildlife Management Area north of Wilmont. The 713-acre WMA features more than 20 restored wetlands, more than a mile of streambank restoration, a food plot, upland grasslands and a willow patch, providing habitat for waterfowl, pheasants, deer and small game.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at The Farm Bleat

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