If there is one thing Woodlands is known for it is its spectacular local wildlife.

From deer to ducks and everything in between, time spent outdoors enjoying the wildlife of West Virginia is a treasured pastime of many of the residents of the sprawling 171-acre retirement community. And perhaps the most popular of those animals are the numerous varieties of ducks and waterfowl that call the three scenic ponds home.

So, when one of its many species was threatened, the residents of Woodlands stepped into action.

“Everybody here loves the ducks, but this is probably the third or fourth iteration of the ducks since I have been here,” said Judy Dunlap, a five-year resident of one of Woodlands’ cottage homes overlooking the ponds. “Everybody gets attached to them and the coyotes, or something, eats them. We have discussed finding ways to keep them safe from predators, but everything I could think of involved fences and gates and things that would take away from the natural beauty.”

During a particularly cold spell earlier this year, Judy and her fellow residents came up with the idea of a floating duck house to provide shelter from weather and from predators, and provide a non-intrusive place for the ducks to call home. Before long, the idea was floated before Woodlands’ resident council and the council voted to approve excess funds to pay for the house.

Two ducks floating on a pond

Woodlands CEO Jeff Harkins was delighted to see the community step up so quickly to find a solution and collectively approve a plan to provide shelter for the popular animals.

“Judy contacted me on a very cold day because she was worried about the ducks. They found the duck house and the resident council ended up paying for it,” Harkins said. “I love seeing residents take pride in this community. The ducks are family too, and our residents look after them.”

In February, the floating duck house was installed on the largest of the three ponds, providing a safe haven for the many varieties of waterfowl that call Woodlands home.

“I was delighted at how quickly this committee acted,” Dunlap said. “The residents love the ducks and they have stepped up to do something about it. It is a beautiful addition to our ponds, matching the turret architecture of the rest of the community.”

To learn more about Woodlands living or to schedule a tour, call (304) 697-1620 or fill out the form below!


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