Litter in the Deschutes

Magnitude of the task that faces Bend in the not distant future became evident when the Mirror pond was recently drained to it expansive mud flats.

That task will be the removal of at least some of the mud and debris that has collected in the basin in the 45 years the Mirror pond has existed.

When the pond bottom was bared recently, it became evident that the accumulation of mud has been heavy in recent years. Practically all of this was deposited a very fine silt that drifted in from upriver sources.

But the Mirror pond, far-famed as a beauty spot when its water laps the edge of lawns and parks, is also an accumulation of debris that largely results from the habits of litterbugs.

Bottles, cans, old tires, bicycle tires–all these and more are a part of the litter strewn over the river bottom.

Some of the litter was tossed from bridges. Much of it found its way into the river from park side. There is considerable debris directly offshore from Pageant park, where the gay pageant fleet assembles each year.

The problem of removing mud and silt from the rapidly-filling basin cannot easily be solved. It will eventually call for planning, and for funds. The mud cannot be dredged from Mirror pond, as was done in the Brooks-Scanlon mill pond upstream.

If the mud is flushed downstream, some major problems will be faced.

But there should be some solution to the problem of halting the year-around activity of litterbugs.

Possibly that solution would be an appeal to the public to cooperate in keeping clean one of Oregon’s most beautiful spots, the Mirror pond of the Deschutes.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1955

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