The bank stabilization project is proceeding as planned at Lakeside Park's main pond, but the dual rows of fencing nearly surrounding the pond likely will stay in place through the fall.
“It is a long-term project, so we do not want to jeopardize its long-term success,” said Alec Johnson, the city landscape architect coordinating the work.
The $210,000 project began last fall to address problems with shoreline erosion.
The combination of low water levels and wind-generated waves began washing away soil from the shore and depositing it in the pond, Johnson said.
This spring, the contractor hired to complete the project began planting grasses and sedges along the shore to stabilize the bank, Johnson said. To protect the plants from being eaten by geese, workers installed a fence at the water's edge and second one a few feet up the bank.
Silver, metallic strips tied to the fencing flutter in the wind and generate a rattling noise, which further discourage the geese. The plants eventually will grow to about 2 feet tall.
The project also included installing five rocky outcroppings around the pond so people can get down to the water or have a place from which to fish, Johnson said.
Signs have been posted requesting “Do Not Feed The Geese.” Bread and similar foods are bad for the birds, Johnson said, and free food encourages them to congregate at the pond.
Thursday afternoon, there were no geese on or around the main pond. Several geese occupied a grassy bank on the park's middle pond.
To help maintain the proper water level in the main pond, Johnson said the city probably will drill a well behind the pavilion near the tennis courts. If all goes well, the $8,000 to $10,000 cost for the well could be paid with unused contingency funds for the shoreline work.
The city currently can send water into Lakeside's ponds when the Maumee River is high, Johnson said. When the river is low, the city has no efficient way to add water to the main pond.
The well would have an automatic system that would pump water into the pond whenever the water level fell to a predetermined point, he said.
If the Lakeside bank stabilization project works successfully, Johnson said the city likely will consider using it at the other ponds at Lakeside Park and possibly at other parks.