Generations help build wood duck houses

"We try to come every year," said Katie Terwedo of Le Sueur about the Wood Duck Box Building Day. Held Sunday, Feb. 24, there were 174 youth that attended the 14th annual event.

This year’s occurrence at the KC Hall, 411 Fourth Ave. SW in New Prague, seemed to bring generations together to build houses for wood ducks. Terwedo and her husband, Bob, had their triplets Lexi, Justin and Andrea with them. Also, Terwedo’s dad, Steve Pagel of Le Center, was among the volunteers.

"I’ve been helping since it began," said Pagel about the happening.

The Scott-Le Sueur Chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association organizes the event, which allows youth to find out about nature. Children are also able to help wood ducks by providing them with a nesting spot as the boxes usually go up on families’ property.

"We had a lot of grandparents this year," said Julie Hensel of the local chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association.

Hunter Banyia of Prior Lake and his cousin Hayden Melcher of Shakopee were among those eagerly building houses. Banyia, age 4, stood on one of the tables, holding onto a screw gun as his grandfather, Mike Melcher of Prior Lake, helped guide it. Standing by, watching and taking photos was his grandmother Patty Melcher.

Others building houses were Chris Hauer of Montgomery with his daughter Makayah, as her mom Tanya watches. "I’m working here today," said Chris, then grins, "I’m a sawdust man."

He was among those putting sawdust in the bottom of the duck house. At one point he coaxed Makayah to help him put sawdust in her box.

Brooke Timmers of New Prague smiled as her daughter Savannah Weiler worked on building a house. Helping Savannah was Ryan Sticha, who Timmers described as her soon-to-be step-dad. Savannah beamed as the box took shape.

Various sponsors from around the area helped with the 2013 Wood Duck Box Building Day. These include businesses, individuals and organizations from New Prague, Lonsdale, Montgomery, Le Sueur, Le Center, Jordan, Shakopee, Belle Plaine, Lakeville, Northfield, Prior Lake and Webster.