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Right in the center of what many think of as a shopping destination, the Avenue at White Marsh, lies a beautiful slice of natural habitat — a duck pond behind the Avenue, across from Barnes & Noble.

Many people make it a habit to care for and feed the wildlife that lives at this pond. As an occasional waterfowl feeder myself, I became concerned when the parking lot next to the pond was closed and construction equipment arrived.

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Lisa Geiger, marketing manager for the Avenue, said a Texas Roadhouse restaurant being built on the lot. She said construction is just getting under way with a possible completion date of late August or September.

To assure that the native wildlife pond residents would be OK throughout this process, Lisa consulted with Kathy Woods, the director of Phoenix Wildlife Center, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.

The center is committed to the rehabilitation of wildlife and returning native wildlife to the wild and education of the public on wildlife issues. Kathy said the months of April through June and into July comprise the nesting season for these birds. They will be getting nests ready and laying eggs.

After expressing my concern about ducks and geese wandering in the street, she assured me they don't usually do that. She also seemed pleased with the situation at the Avenue.

"It's a really nice pond," Kathy said. "The building (construction) will not affect them (the ducks and geese) at all".

However, Kathy did have one caution to share, "Please don't feed them bread. They don't get proper nutrition."

As a substitute, Kathy suggested a product called Purina Duck Chow, available at feed stores. You can visit the center's website at phoenixwildlifecenter.net.

If you see nesting ducks on the Avenue, remember to look but don't touch. And, if you should encounter a duck or goose in the street, be patient. They will move, but they move slowly and so would you with short legs, big webbed feet and a waddle!

You can follow the ducks of the Avenue on Instagram! at instagram.com/theavenueducks.

"The Inaugural Taste and Grapes," a wine and food pairing event hosted by the Perry Hall White Marsh Business Association, takes place at Boordy Vineyards on April 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. The proceeds from this event benefit the White Marsh Volunteer Fire Department's fund to build a new fire station and the PHWMBA Scholarship.

Boordy Vineyards is at 12820 Long Green Pike in Hydes. Tickets cost $50 per person. Go to http://www.phwmba.org/Tastes-and-Grapes-Event.html and click on the "buy now" link.

Have you thought about volunteering to help keep Perry Hall beautiful? Now is your chance as the office of County Councilman David Marks is working with the Downtown Perry Hall Beautification Committee and Cintas of Baltimore on a spring beautification project that will target the intersection at Belair, Ebenezer, and Joppa Roads. The clean-up will be held on Saturday, May 16, starting at 8 a.m. at Perry Hall Elementary School.

Cintas will power-wash the Veterans Memorial and sidewalks, as well as mulch the Perry Hall Elementary School area. Volunteers are needed to help pick up trash and work on other tasks. "I would like to thank Cintas of Baltimore and its volunteers for again helping clean Downtown Perry Hall," Councilman Marks commented. "Their work in 2013 left Perry Hall cleaner and greener. I would also like to thank the Perry Hall Improvement Association and the Downtown Perry Hall Committee for so tirelessly caring about this important part of our community." Contact dmarks@baltimorecountymd.gov for more details or to volunteer.

To share your news, event or announcement in the Perry Hall/Kingsville area, send an email to write2shell@yahoo.com or call 443-286-5881.

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