Quack a smile: Duck launch returns to Memorial Gardens

Matt
Matt Gardner
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If Prince Albert Memorial Gardens is a more happening place than your average cemetery, the annual duck launch is a major reason why.

Meath Park School student Samantha Kosik releases one of her school’s ducks at last year’s Memorial Gardens duck launch. This year’s duck launch will take place on Friday, June 6 at noon.

Each year, area schools and nursing homes release ducks into a small pond at the Memorial Gardens, where the birds will reside for the rest of the season.

“In the summertime, you can find anywhere from 50 to 100 kids a day coming with their grandparents or parents to feed the ducks,” Coun. Don Cody noted.

“That’s what makes it so nice -- to see the young people coming around and they play and have a good time,” he added. “And of course the parents or grandparents visit their loved ones.”

The 17th annual duck launch will take place on Friday, June 6 from noon to 2 p.m. at Memorial Gardens, which is located on Highway 2 south.

More than 300 students from 10 different schools will be on hand for the launch, which also includes free hotdogs, cake and pop. Participating senior facilities include Mont St. Joseph Home and the Herb Bassett Home.

In advance of the launch, each of the schools and nursing homes raised ducklings obtained from a hatchery in Saskatoon.

“We bring them in when they’re a day old,” Cody said. “We take them to the schools and to these nursing homes and they raise them for … about a month and a week, something like that -- a month and a half -- and then they bring them in on June 6.”

In the summertime, you can find anywhere from 50 to 100 kids a day coming with their grandparents or parents to feed the ducks. Coun. Don Cody

For the last several years, Cody has played a leading role in organizing the duck launch.

“It’s a great program,” the councillor said. “It teaches people to come to the cemetery and know that it’s not a scary place like a graveyard -- it’s a place where there are folks and grandmas and grandpas and moms and dads and stuff. So it’s a place where people can come and visit.”

“It’s to show that there is life, there are things to come and see and … it promotes the people coming to the cemetery,” he added.

While not as many schools are participating in the duck launch this year due to allergy issues with some children, the event in all other respects will follow the tradition of previous years.

All members of the public are encouraged to come out for the festive occasion.

“We just hope for good weather,” Cody said. “If the weather’s great, everything’s great.”

Geographic location: Memorial Gardens, Saskatoon

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  • TamiK
    May 27, 2014 - 18:51

    For as many years as I have lived here I have asked what happens to the ducks in the winter. No one will answer, so I assume they are either given for breeding or eaten? Why won't anyone ever answer?

  • TamiK
    May 27, 2014 - 18:32

    For as many years as I have lived here I have asked what happens to the ducks in the winter. No one will answer, so I assume they are either given for breeding or eaten? Why won't anyone ever answer?