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Renovation of Land Park Pond Delayed

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SACRAMENTO -- It's hard to believe after record heat waves this summer, but too much water has delayed the renovation of one of William Land Park's signature ponds.

The ponds at Land Park make it a destination for many city residents. But one pond has been high and dry since the spring.

Lisa DeKlerk is a frequent park visitor and actually lives near McKinley Park. Its pond was refilled in May after it was cleaned up and deepened to prevent algae growth.

"It’s definitely a main attraction lost," DeKlerk said.

She was disappointed that the Land Park pond wasn’t renovated before summer was over.

“Coming to the park is one of the few free activities to do in the summer, and the pond is one of the main reasons people come here," DeKlerk said.

The Land Park Pond was in the same condition as the McKinley Pond -- slime and algae buildup required a cleanup and deepening to prevent unhealthy organisms from growing. But the wet weather derailed the work.

“The heavy winter caused some delays, we had groundwater issues that caused a delay in our renovation process," said city spokesperson Marycon Young.

A heavy plastic liner has been installed, but dirt needs to go on top of that.

The park is close to the Sacramento River, and the high water table caused seepage into the pond preventing heavy equipment from completing the work.

“I’d like to see some people over there working," said neighbor Mike Ingoglia.

Ingoglia lives near the pond. He’s tired of looking at an empty work site.

“Families can’t come over here and enjoy it, feed the ducks, kids like to come run around, couples like to sit near the pond and you know what, they haven’t been able to do that at all this year," he said.

Contractors says trying to decide how to accommodate water birds that live near the pond made for more delays.

Tuesday, they checked on a generator that has been operating for three weeks pumping groundwater out from underneath a layer of hardpan.

One good sign is that there is now less water being removed than just a few days ago. It may be dry enough in a couple of weeks to resume work. Completion is now scheduled for November.

The concern is that the new construction schedule butts up against the new rainy season, and it was too much water that caused the delays to begin with.

"I’d like to see them get it done before the rains come and that maybe gives them six weeks," Ingoglia said.

Others say now that the summer’s gone there may be a little less urgency.

“We’ve been being patient for a while, I guess a little longer wouldn’t hurt," DeKlerk said.

The city says the pond's facelift will make it more pleasant for visitors as well as wildlife.