CRESTVIEW — Duck production at Twin Hills Park may improve due to a teenager’s efforts.
Friends and family of Austin Boyd, 17, joined the Boy Scout at Twin Hills Park on Monday to watch city employees implement his Eagle Scout project, spreading six fabricated, over-water nesting structures on the ponds. Such human-made structures can improve nest success and species production, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"It's really pleasing to see this," Boyd said as he watched city employees pull his floatable duck nests into the park ponds by boat. Boyd, a Crestview High School senior, worked with the city to build the nesting docks.
"I just noticed that (ducks) kept getting in people's way (at the park)," Boyd, a Boy Scout Troop 731 member, said.
He remembered that when the time came to select a project that would qualify him for Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor: Eagle. Austin has been a member of the organization since he was 8 years old.
The project is several months in the making. The Scout Council required plenty of paperwork just to approve the project, and Austin met with Wayne Steele, the city’s Public Services director, in March to talk seriously about moving forward.
Many volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which Austin’s family attends, helped build the nests with fellow troop members.
"There were about 30 people involved with putting these nests together," Austin said. Wooden boards and hollowed-out piping make the structures float. Cement blocks and chains anchor each structure. The city donated materials for the project, Austin said.
Now, Austin must write a report on what effect the nests have on the duck and the entire park.