The Caldwell County Ducks Unlimited chapter is preparing for the 41st annual banquet, set for Saturday, Oct. 9, at Southside Baptist Church Life Center, formerly the HE apparel factory, located at 106 Nichols St., Princeton.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. Dinner starts at 6:15 p.m. There will be games and live auction, which will begin at 7:15 p.m., as well as raffles and prizes.

Memberships are $45 for single; $55 for couple; Greenwing for children younger than 17 for $20, or a sponsorship for $250. Sponsors will receive a sponsor print, and a chance to win a gun. A total of five sponsors will win a gun. Early bird members will be entered into a drawing for a gun if paid membership or sponsorship is received by Thursday, Sept. 30. Volunteers are always needed. For more information on becoming a member or volunteer opportunities, contact James Bond at 270-625-1327 or Elaina Bond at 270-625-0106.

According to ducks.org., Ducks Unlimited (DU) is the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, having conserved more than 15 million acres since its beginning in 1937.

Is DU just for “duck hunters?” The answer is no. Conservation preservation through the work of the organization has many benefits, including waterfowl habitat, recreation, flood storage, groundwater recharge, water quality, fish habitat, biodiversity, soil conservation, and economic benefits and more. DU is a nonprofit organization.

One of the recent projects in western Kentucky of the KY Ducks Unlimited can be seen in the Ballard Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

The north and south water control structures along the front slough at Ballard WMA have been completely replaced and upgraded to meet the needs of waterfowl for years to come. And this is just the first of many upgrades planned for the region. The next steps are in motion on a multiyear effort to enhance this historic western Kentucky area. Ballard WMA is an 8,000-acre state-owned habitat on the banks of the Ohio River, having been established in the 1950s.

“Ballard WMA hosts 2,000 waterfowl hunter trips per year,” said Dane Cramer, DU regional biologist for Kentucky. “Ducks and duck hunters will see benefits, but this project has other valuable benefits, too. This area absorbs an impressive amount of floodwater, benefitting every downstream community along the Mississippi River.”

Over the next few years, several other large-scale wetland enhancement projects at Ballard WMA will take place before moving on to other areas. The goal is the systematic upgrading of western Kentucky’s wetlands over the next decade.