Future of duck pond at Leeper Park to be discussed at public forum Wednesday night

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A duck at Leeper Park stares down a local photographer. ("Staring Contest" by Amanda Govaert, CC BY 2.0)

It’s a problem that is bringing out both opinions and memories.

“A lot of memories wrapped up in that duck pond,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg recollected with 95.3 MNC Tuesday morning. “I used to go there as a kid. I live very close to it now – I actually look out at it from my window – and and it’s a very special place.”

City officials have plans to remove the duck pond at Leeper Park and replace it with a safer, more revamped look. The pond is becoming unsanitary and that ducks are feasting on “avian junk food” from humans feeding the ducks. Many ducks and geese that hang out near the pond cannot fly due to improperly formed wings.

Buttigieg says city officials have a plan besides just removing the pond.

“It includes an enhanced riverwalk that will allow people to get to where there’s a lot of ducks, geese, and water fowl,” Buttigieg said. “It’s really neat for kids to see, but without having these feeding patterns that make (the birds) aggressive, make them sick, and aren’t really that great for humans or dogs, either.”

A public forum is being held  at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Near Northwest neighborhood’s community space at 1013 Portage Avenue to discuss the future of the pond.

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