SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - From the LandTrust for Central North Carolina: The Leopold Society at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Salisbury came out on a rainy Tuesday on March 20th to The LandTrust's Two Rivers Property in Davie County. More than 60 students joined LandTrust staff on site to install 17 wood duck boxes. Hillary Shores, a 6- through 8-grade science teacher at Sacred Heart, is the mentor for the Leopold Society students there.
With their beautiful green iridescent heads and hoods with white outlines, and their red penetrating eyes and burgundy chests, wood ducks are considered by many to be the most beautiful waterfowl found in these parts. At one point, numbers of wood ducks were decreasing due primarily to overhunting and loss of nesting habitat. In terms of hunting, this species of duck comes second in number only to the mallard. As a result of a variety of efforts, including changes in hunting regulations and the placing and monitoring of nesting boxes, this species now appears to be increasing in number.
"The LandTrust is proud to have worked with Sacred Heart on this wood duck nest box project," says Executive Director, Travis Morehead. "This is the reason we created the Leopold Society, to get children involved in conservation of our natural world and to have an impact on the next generation of conservation leaders."
The Leopold Society is for youth participants from grades 6 to 12. Participants learn conservation techniques, outdoor skills, and hands-on natural resource stewardship and service. They engage in outdoor recreation and skill-building activities. Many of these activities are completed independently with the intent to bring families together in the outdoors. The long-term goal of the program is to instill a lifelong appreciation of nature in youth participants that will translate into positive action as adults.
The program includes a "passport" with requirements for the participants to complete various activities related to the outdoors, such as hiking, paddling, hunting, fishing, and orienteering. Along with the skills developed, participants are asked to complete a service project, such as trail maintenance, develop a school recycling program, a new hunter mentorship program, or to start a native plants garden. The service project can be completed independently or as part of a class. As they complete activities, participants receive stamps and patches to recognize their achievements.
Leopold Society memberships are $15 for youth participants. If you are interested in joining The Leopold Society or getting your child's school involved, please contact Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-647-0302.