I can’t imagine Bend’s elected officials or the general public tolerating the demise of Mirror Pond. So how about a simple and inexpensive solution to the buildup of sediment in that portion of the Deschutes River?
People are willing to pay big bucks for good topsoil in this desert land of sand and rocks. The city should temporarily lower the river level sufficiently to dry out the sediment, put some big balloon tires on backhoes, and load the rich loam into homeowners’ pickup trucks and contractors’ behemoths, enriching the city’s coffers with the revenue.
And while the river level is so low, a few geese might vacate the area! Everybody wins.
Source: The Bulletin ©2011
A recent Bulletin article quoted Ryan Houston as saying, “when we look at a project like Mirror Pond, we really try to put all of the crazy ideas on the table.” With that in mind, here’s a couple of mine.
Should it be dredged? Let it slowly revert to a wetland? Remove the dam and once again become a free-flowing river? My vote would be to remove the built-up silt and let it remain the visual centerpiece of Bend that it has been for 100 years.
Another question is how to pay for the improvements. Studies so far have pointed toward trying to get a government grant, which means tax dollars, which means dealing with Salem and Washington, D.C. It will be difficult enough working through the government permitting process even without taking their dollars. I would suggest organizing a pledge drive and raising the money locally. After all, the Bend community will benefit the most, residents and businesses alike.
A pledge drive would also quickly determine community support for the project. No money equals no support. It would be interesting to have someone Photoshop what the existing pond area would look like as a wetland and as a free-flowing river.
What about construction methods? All that has been suggested so far is to do a dredging project at a cost of up to $5 million? Why not ask some local earth-moving contractors if it would be feasible to drain the pond, as is done periodically, move in equipment to load up the material and truck it to a dump site. It might be cheaper and could put some locals to work. Temporary access roads could be left in place for a time and the removal done in stages as the money becomes available.
Source : The Bulletin ©2011