This is a message from Judy McClaver. She is the champion of our pond and she needs your help to compel the city to keep to the renovation schedule.
All projects meet scheduling challenges, but the proposed date changes to the McKinley Pond renovation will have dire consequences, both in wildlife casualties and financial waste. Please help the pond and our city budget and email the City Council today to ask them to compel City Parks and Recreation to meet the scheduled March start date for renovation. Your attendance at the Tuesday City Council Meeting would also be extremely meaningful.
Below are the critical reasons the date must be adhered to:
March is just prior to waterfowl mating and nesting season and when the turtles are just coming out of hibernation. There will be no chicks, nor eggs in the pond area.
May is right in the middle of nesting and hatching season. This will make the pond unsafe for all the baby waterfowl and there will be no natural pond food available.
March is the ideal time to plant. The native grasses planted around the fringe of the pond will have a chance to root and establish. These plants will filter run off to help with contamination issues.
May is too hot to plant. The grasses need water and cool weather to hook roots to the soil and firmly establish. Planting too late in the season jeopardizes plant success. We saw this when the city planted sod too late in the season around the new restroom at the playground. It was laid in hot weather and died. Let’s use this as a lesson and not waste more taxpayers’ money.
March weather is cool and gives the wildlife opportunities to feed and survive during the renovation. It is illegal to trap, injure, or destroy wildlife. The domestic ducks and geese are the only animals that can be caught and relocated—not heron, wood duck or any other wild pond citizen. Nests cannot be removed once eggs are laid. Wildlife can remain in place during the renovation if done during the right time of year.
The Parks department does not seem to understand planting windows, or laws protecting wildlife. Parks and Recreation Director Jim Combs recently said in an interview, “(the city) will drain it, erect a fence around it, but someone will need to find homes for all the wildlife living there…You can’t just clean these ponds every year. It’s not like your bathtub. We have to relocate the animals. It’s a big undertaking.”
Neighbors, please write to all the Council Members today. The pond is a living monument we can continue to pass down through the generations. Help the city do the job right.
Please let City Council know the project needs to be done in the month of March 2015. Let’s not disrupt or harm wildlife, or waste money on planting in the wrong month.