Ironically, the pond was very green from algae, but it goes without being said that I’m not referring to the color but the concept of being green.

Last Saturday, my wife hosted my 3 year old daughter’s birthday party at Riverside Park at the corner of Park and Post Street. The party was a blast, but everyone noticed the poor condition of the duck pond.

As I mentioned before, the algae was so thick that the pond looked like pea soup. There was trash all over the pond; the ducks and turtles were swimming around with trash and litter on them. There was even police barricade tape in the pond. The park itself didn’t look too bad, but the pond looked like a disaster area.

This is a city park, so I am assuming that it is the city’s responsibility to clean it and maintain it. It would not be abnormal for someone to automatically blame the city for it looking terrible, but with the cutbacks that they have had to make due to the economy, I find it hard for me to point fingers. Here’s what I want to know: is this because the city is falling down on the job, or are they doing the best they can with the resources that they have? If the second is true, can volunteers help with the maintenance and help pick up the slack? If volunteers can help with the maintenance, is there already a group organized? If not, what needs to be done to organize one? I know I am asking more questions than offering solutions, but at least I’m asking the questions.

Finally, the saddest thing that I saw while we were there was in the corner of the pond farthest from the island, there was a turtle that had apparently gotten his hind legs trapped in a plastic bag. He must have struggled because the bag was stretched and torn, but it must not have been enough because when I found him he was already dead.