Stop studying and solve Mirror Pond’s problem already

It amazes me when we have two front-page headlines that point out a serious flaw in the leadership of the Bend Park & Recreation District leadership. In one headline, the park district proposes and appears to be well down the road toward purchasing the Mount Bachelor park and ride property, and in the other they can’t seem to find the money to clean up Mirror Pond.

Oh, really? I don’t live in the Bend park district, although I have a Bend address. I actually pay school taxes to Redmond. I am stuck in the same limbo as parts of the Juniper Ridge project. If I did, I would be down at their meetings regularly pointing out their shortcomings. The shortcomings are typical these days of government entities that see a bottomless pit in the pockets of the public they are supposed to serve.

The district has invested a lot of time in trying to figure out what to do to clean up Mirror Pond. How about quit studying, detail analyzing and meeting and just go remove the dirt and silt. Is that not the end result you seek, or are you folks just puttering around spending money for nothing?

Here is a plan for you. In the old days when the community needed work done on its streets and parks, the village would let it be known. They would let it be known that they needed folks to come out and work on a certain day and what tools they needed to provide to accomplish the work at hand. Folks would show up with buckets, rakes, horses, wagons, shovels, etc., and be organized and directed to useful tasks to accomplish what needed to be done. There was usually a picnic at the end of the day — also provided by the folks who took part, not the village. This was before we had a government agency for everything.

I think everyone in the community has at least one or two of those wonderful 5-gallon plastic buckets that paint and such come in around their house; if not you can buy them pretty cheap. Each one of those buckets holds about 2.5 cubic feet of dirt; 10.8 buckets is one cubic yard. If a thousand folks show up, you can offload nearly 100 cubic yards of material in short order. What if 3,000 folks showed up! Wouldn’t that be wonderful! Folks could take the dirt home and spread it in their flower beds and gardens. It has to be wonderful stuff; most likely better than the compost you have to pay money for.

I think the folks around here would support such an effort. Just a dent, I know, but you have to start somewhere. In a few short years the pond would be clean. It was pointed out to you last year the river drops every winter and the mud flats are exposed. Low river conditions are coming up pretty fast, so you better get the word out.

Just a pipe dream, I know. By the time the environmentalists, safety folks, ODOT, State Board of Land Use, the city manager, the City Council, health department, dog catcher and the county get in their 2 cents’ worth, it could never happen. More government to pick your pocket is not the answer. The park district needs to take care of what it has in inventory first and then worry about expansion.

— Robert Fouse lives in Bend.

Source: The Bulletin ©2012

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