Thursday, March 11, 2010

Firwood Lake

In April of 2008 a representative from Portland Parks and Recreation came to a SNA meeting to inform us of their plan to combat the toxic algae bloom at Firwood Lake, the pond in Laurelhurst Park. The pond was developed in the teens when the neighborhood was being constructed. It was originally ~20 feet deep. So much sediment has grown during the last 8+ decades that the pond is as shallow as 18" in some areas. The Parks plan was to use microbes to eat up the organic matter in the hopes that they could avoid dredging the pond which would disrupt the eco- system, in addition to being costly. While that sounds like an ideal approach, my initial reaction was that since the pond had never been dredged since its inception, it wasn't unreasonable to have the pond dredged once in 80 years. It still seems like low maintenance considering we have nearly a century of moldy white bread and duck droppings creating such a thick layer of sediment. They estimated that there would be about 2000 cubic yards that would need to be removed.
PP&R went the microbe route of treatment for around a year and while there was some progress made, the color seemed to improve, they weren't able to see the progress they were hoping to see. The decision has been made to "mechanically remove the sediment" with work projected to begin in April.
We went for a walk on a crisp, sunny January day and took some photos of the algae bloom in Firwood Lake.When the sun is shining you can see how neon green the waters are.
The boys don't seem to mind though, any opportunity to go duck watching is exciting for them.
We NEVER take human food to feed to the ducks. While Franz bread may be good for us, it is a horrible diet for water fowl; I beleive there is an analogy of it being similar to feeding them cake. Human food being throw into the pond to feed the birds contributes to our toxic algae problem. It is my hope that once the pond has been restored, Portlanders heed the warning signs requesting that people refrain from feeding the ducks.
I saw my first camellia of the season on our walk that day.

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