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A duck pond do-over

Anyone on Weber State University’s campus in the past few weeks may have noticed some landscaping going on around the duck pond. The pond, which is usually full of water, plants, ducks and once even a moose, is being made deeper and wider than before.

“The goal is a more functional, cleaner pond for the community,” Justin Owen, energy manager for WSU, said.

The recreational project began just after the university’s annual Pops concert in July and should be completed by November. It is part of WSU’s effort to become more sustainable, as well as a way to preserve water in Utah’s arid climate.

The water retained through the pond will be used in campus irrigation and will decrease the amount of water needed to sustain campus landscaping.

“Another aspect that folks may not realize is that through these upgrades, we will be better able to utilize this captured water in the pond to irrigate our campus landscape, which would reduce our overall use of secondary water,” Chad Downs, WSU project manager, said.

The pond renovation has practical, environmental and aesthetic reasons behind it and has been a long time coming. This current renovation will make it easier for future maintenance of the pond and create a cleaner environment for the wildlife and plant life in the area.

“The pond serves as the campus stormwater retention basin for most of the Ogden campus,” Mark Halverson, associate vice president for facilities and campus planning, said. “We are deepening most of the pond by four feet in order to provide additional capacity for the campus. We are also installing a concrete floor to the pond which will allow collected sediment and other debris to be cleaned out more frequently.”

The pond is considered a retention pond, or a pond meant to hold storm water and sediment, so the maintenance of the pond is important to the local ecosystem.

“Stormwater is the country’s largest contributor to pollution in our rivers and streams and has a negative effect on wildlife,” Hodge said. “By improving the capacity of WSU’s retention pond to be able to handle increased stormwater flows, WSU is drastically improving the stormwater collected from our campus, and the surrounding neighborhoods that ultimately makes it to Utah’s rivers and streams.”

Though the pond is usually filled with wildlife and vegetation, the renovation project has led to some relocation. The ducks, geese and other wildlife who call the pond home, have been cautiously and carefully relocated through a partnership with WSU and the Division of Wildlife Resources. Some of which were moved to the Beus pond, though many of the animals naturally migrate this time of year regardless.

“WSU cares about the wildlife that uses our beautiful campus and will always take them into consideration when planning new development,” Drew Hodge, WSU’s water conservation and stormwater coordinator, said. “The wildlife around the pond have not been harmed and have other nearby areas that can serve their needs during construction. After the pond project is finished WSU will continue to work to accommodate the wildlife as we always have.”

Not only is the duck pond being redone, the water fountain will also be refurbished. Because it has been around for so long, the fountain has been weathered, cracked and dealt with piping issues that have not allowed it to fully function for years.

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Brisa Odenthal, News editor

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