November 22, 2011 in City

Manito pond cleanup ready for public’s help

By The Spokesman-Review
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Rehabilitation at Manito Park’s Mirror Pond, shown here in 2007, aims to improve water quality, stabilize the shoreline and add new features.
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The Friends of Manito is asking for the public’s help in probably the most ambitious project in the organization’s history: cleaning up and restoring the body of water formerly known as the duck pond.

The group on Monday announced a public phase of a fundraising campaign to install water treatment equipment in a wider project to improve what’s now being called Mirror Pond at Manito Park.

For years, The Friends of Manito has provided funding for park improvements through proceeds from its popular plant sales.

The goal in the pond project is to turn the algae-green water into a clear, environmentally healthy pond at a cost of about $300,000.

“We are going to change this pond to where it’s crystal clear all the time,” said Gary Snyder of Blue Ribbon Environmental Products Inc.

Snyder’s company has been hired to clean up numerous ponds and small lakes in Eastern Washington. He uses a process that puts dissolved oxygen in the water so that natural microbes can maintain the health of the water.

Algae would be removed in a separate water treatment step.

Historically, the park had a seasonal body known as Mirror Lake, which was in part a marshy wetland that stretched eastward from the existing pond.

Proponents and park officials want to restore this historic name by calling it Mirror Pond, said Steve Nittolo, horticulture supervisor for the Spokane Parks Department.

Work on the project dates back to a master plan funded with a $50,000 grant from the Friends organization in 2007. The Friends group has also promised another $50,000 grant.

The master plan lays out four phases of work with the first phase involving installation of the water quality equipment.

A second phase would involve shoreline renovation and landscaping, which would be followed by two phases to add streamlike features.

The goal, beyond improved water quality, is to stabilize the shoreline and improve the natural setting with new trees, shrubs and aquatic plants.

Donors may be able to purchase turtle name plaques or engraved recognitions on a stone monument. Donations are being accepted by check to The Friends of Manito, 4 W. 21st Ave., Spokane WA 99203.

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