Over the next month or so, some major infrastructure improvements are planned for the SW Duck Pond, located at 6th & I Streets. An appropriation has been provided by the DC government to do some brick work in the park, including the coping around the water's edge, as well as the retaining walls which are in pretty bad shape. In addition, the appropriation includes the installation of new globe lighting with outlets at the base to allow lights to be strung around the light poles for special occasions (festivals, holidays, etc). The benches will also be painted. Bids have been submitted and a contractor will be chosen next week.
|Crumbling retaining walls will be fixed.|
Under a different funding mechanism, the Neighbors of SW Duck Pond have applied for a grant from DDOT's Performance Parking program instituted when Nationals Park opened to restore the underwater lighting in the pond that have long been disabled. The park is used as a cut-through for people coming to and from the businesses on 4th Street and the Metro, so the addition of underwater lighting will increase safety in the park at night. Estimates for the repairs range from $1,800 - $20,000, depending on the condition of the existing wiring for the underwater lights, but the actual cost won't be known until the contractors get to work on the project.
|Last year's fountain "turning on" ceremony.|
Work on both projects will aim for completion by April 7, when Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells will be on hand for the annual ceremony to turn on the pond's fountains for the season, the same day as the SW Waterfront Fireworks Festival. Last season, the pH balance was changed in the pond to return the water to a more natural state and make it hospitable for ducks to return. As a result, the pond water turned green and maintenance was more costly since the filters had to be changed more often. In previous years, the water was chemically treated to keep the water clearer and it will most likely return to that cleaning schedule this season.