The koi pond in Manito Park’s Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden is back open following a 16-month closure caused by the pandemic and water-saving construction.
The attraction reopened to the public late last week, but was announced by the Spokane Parks Department in a news release Tuesday. The pond, which houses about 30 of the colorful carp, will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes before dusk, and Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. and close at the same time.
Construction of a looped system to filter pond water began in March, when workers with Land Expressions emptied the pond and built both above- and below-ground features intended to filter the water and recirculate it to avoid waste. Prior to construction, new water was pumped into the pond from a nearby main as necessary.
The Parks Department estimates improvements will save 16 million to 18 million gallons of water annually. The $287,000 project was funded by the city’s Utilities Division, which is partnering with parks on efforts to conserve water within city limits. That effort includes upgrading watering systems at municipal golf courses.
“It’s a wonderful example of the City collaborating to make improvements. The Utilities and Parks divisions came together to invest in water-saving improvements that also improve the wildlife and visitor experiences,” said Garrett Jones, director of Parks & Recreation for the city of Spokane, in a release announcing the pond’s opening.
Entry to the pond is free, and its seasonal schedule usually ends in October. The pond did not open in 2020 due to staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and remained closed for the beginning of the 2021 season for the construction work.
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