I agree with Barbara Buxton’s letter of Dec. 30 concerning the use of Bend Park & Recreation District funds to dredge Mirror Pond.
As a native of Bend, I grew up during the era of beautiful floats and gigantic swans floating downriver during the Bend Water Pageants. Today the floats would be stuck in the mud and silt that has filled in our beautiful pond. Drake Park and Mirror Pond are the crown jewels of our community and of our park system. People come here to enjoy their beauty, but if something is not done soon, we will have nothing but a mud flat to show visitors. Try taking your kayak, raft or canoe out in that!
As a taxpayer, I would like to see the city of Bend or the Bend Park & Recreation District spend its money on dredging Mirror Pond before it is too late.
Source: The Bulletin ©2012
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
Thank you for the update on dredging Mirror Pond. I would like to invite the group who is reviewing the status to come kayaking and see the exact situation up close. To see the islands of goose turds is absolutely disgusting.
This summer, I was kayaking on Mirror Pond when I decided to get out of my boat to remove a chair that someone had tossed into a very shallow part of the pond, right off the park.
To my surprise, I was sucked into the muck and absolutely could not get out. It came up to my stomach and I just sunk right in. My husband had to come help pry me out. Later, I had another friend who flipped his kayak and it took two people to help pull him back out.
I think if they had this firsthand experience, they might see the real hazard of the situation. I cannot even believe we have people swimming and floating in it. How long before we lose a kid because they can’t get out of it?
Source: The Bulletin ©2006
After reading about the possible $12 million it will cost to restore Summit High School fields to playing status, I wondered if there wasn’t some way to reduce that price. Then I read about the silt in Mirror Pond, and I think I have a solution for both problems our community now faces.
After talking with a friend who is an engineer, we think it would be a great use of the silt in the river to pump into the Summit holes. If I remember correctly, it was difficult to find a good place for the river silt when it was dredged last time. What a concept! Fixing two problems at the same time! The only question would be whether two large institutions – the school district and the city – can make something that at least seems so logical happen. Good luck; maybe it would work.
Source: The Bulletin ©2006
To the Ed!tor:
Your editorial on the Duck and Dog situation is all in favor of the ducks and therefore the case is half stated from your point of view. As to your solution it would merely mean another law as to whether dogs would be tied up or not; an arbitrary imposition of a mere majority over a large minority.
The mirror pond and the ducks are public property. The interest in these things of beauty is very intense to those owning property along the water front. But the interest decreases, in the same proportion with the distance, to those not on the river. To these latter the interest in dogs and their freedom is intense, and to prove it they pay a dog license. It is quite safe to say that there isn’t one dog out of 50 in these districts who ever gets to the river and molests the ducks. On the other hand it is safe to say that out of 10 dogs whose owners live near the river two of them will be guilty of bothering the ducks. To tie up eight dogs for the sins of two might be reasonable enough but to tie up 49 dogs for the sins of one is going too far.
To those who live near the water ducks are an asset to the scenery but to the majority a duck is something to kill and put in the pot. It is different with dogs. Dogs are one of the family. The parents of children might not be so devoted to the dogs but the children are. A pet dog eats candy and cookies, drinks from the same cup and many times sleeps in the same bed as does the child. You can’t say that for a duck! And to tie up such a dog in marble time is as painful to the child as tying up his kid brother. After all a duck is only a duck but a dog is a dog in anyones’s yard and in the heart of the owner. And I think the city papas will do well to remember this if they would get along with the municipal family.
Yes, I have a solution and if it is put into effect I promise to abide by it just as willingly as I will fight against the present set-up. Here it is: Put a $25 fine on the owner of a dog caught on the river and if he doesn’t pay, kill the dog. Give half or all the fine to someone hired to patrol the mirror pond.
In this way the guilty will pay and at the same time do away with the present tactics of punishing one hundred for the sins of one.
Signed, Geo R. Brick.
Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1938