Wichita State News
Photo: Patrice Hein
A mama mallard and her ducklings circle the "duck dock," an annual construction by Physical Plant employees to help duck families get out of the Corbin pool for their trek to the Braeburn Golf Course pond.

Lucky ducks walk plank toward bigger, buggier life

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

“Each year we have mallard ducks nesting in the native prairie grasses in the planter that’s surrounded by a pool,” said Patrice Hein, community coordinator for the College of Education, which is housed in Wichita State’s Corbin Education Center.

Hein reports nine ducklings this year, the most that longtime dean assistant Claudia Keller remembers, “and she’s been here quite a while,” Hein said.

Every year, when the ducklings start their struggle to climb out of the pool, Keller calls the Physical Plant. Then, Hein said, a small crew comes over with a “duck dock” – some boards to help the ducklings get in and out of the pool.

“As ducklings get out of the pool, the adults herd them over to the pond on the golf course,” she said. Some years, the mama duck leads her ducklings across 21st Street instead, she added, and WSU Police stop traffic to let them cross safely.

As of this writing, the Corbin Education Center has only two ducklings left in the pool. Faculty and staff are cheering them on, Hein said, hoping the duck family is all together soon in the buggy confines of the golf course pond.

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