Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the goal of the Village Pond Park renovation project?

The goal of the Village Pond Park renovation project is to provide a clean, attractive, and functional park that is valued as a recreational asset by the community. The City held a series of public workshops to solicit community input regarding their vision. Residents expressed a desire to address the impacts of the waterfowl and renovate the park in a manner that would enhance park aesthetics. The Final Design provides a detailed overview of park renovations.

2. What will the City do to ensure the pond remains clean?

The renovation project will include a number of measures that will contribute to the cleanliness of the park and pond when the park reopens. These include:

• Installing low fences to discourage drive-up feeding of waterfowl.

• Eliminating the walkway around most of the pond to reduce the areas where waterfowl feces can accumulate.

• Placing boulders and large shrubs around the edge of the pond to simulate potential predator habitats to discourage nesting.

• Installing water geysers and a floating island to disrupt the flight pattern of waterfowl.

• Installing a new irrigation system to irrigate the landscape and improve water circulation to improve water quality and minimize algae growth.

• Continuing education efforts and/or enforcement of the Wildlife Ordinance prohibiting the feeding of waterfowl.

3. What is the current role of the Lake Forest Community Association?

Currently, the Lake Forest Community Homeowner’s Association (Association) is responsible for maintaining the water quality and water level of the pond based on a 1976 agreement originally between the Association and the County of Orange. In 1991, the City became the successor to the County and has been solely responsible for maintaining the rest of the park since that time. Most recently, the Association concurred with the final plans allowing the City to move forward with the renovation project.

4. Why is the renovation project necessary? Why can’t the City continue to clean the park instead of renovating it?

Over the past four years, the City has taken several steps to address the maintenance issues associated with Village Pond Park. The City spends approximately $40,000 per year to clean the walkways of bird feces. In March 2015, the City enacted a Wildlife Ordinance to prohibit the feeding of waterfowl.

 While these efforts offered temporary solutions, physically improving the park with a combination of best practices in design and maintenance and the relocation of wildlife provides a more long-term solution and has always remained the City’s priority. The project plans will provide an enjoyable and attractive park with new amenities while supporting a sustainable wild animal population.

5. When will the park renovation begin and how long will the project take?

On October 3, 2016, the City issued a Request for Bids for Village Pond Park Improvement services. Once a construction contract has been awarded, the City expects to begin construction in Spring 2017 with completion expected by the end of 2017. As the project progresses, updates will be posted on the Village Pond Park webpage.

6. What impacts should I expect from the construction?

Construction will occur Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The contractor is required to minimize any noise, dust, and air quality impacts associated with the construction.

7. What will happen to the animals at the park?

The humane treatment and well-being of the animals are the utmost priority for the City. As such, the City has hired a professional and experienced biologist to manage this process. Wildlife relocation efforts will be performed in accordance with the standards and regulations set forth by both State and Federal Departments of Fish and Wildlife. The consultant will determine the proper services needed for the turtles, ducks, fish, and waterfowl currently residing at the park. This may include relocation to nearby ponds or lakes; relocation to private ranches, small farms, non-profit groups, and homes for potential adoption; or treatment of sick or injured animals at a rehabilitation facility. 

8. How much does the project cost?

The total estimated project cost is approximately $2.26 million.
            
9. What can I do to help preserve the cleanliness of the park? 

Park visitors can help keep the park clean by: 

• Refraining from feeding the animals, particularly ducks and geese. City ordinance makes it illegal to feed the animals.
• Refraining from releasing waterfowl, fish, or turtles in the park. State law makes it illegal to release animals into the park.
• Picking up trash and litter and throwing them away in a trash receptacle.
• Picking up after your pets.
• Reporting any broken fixtures and vandalism to Public Works at (949) 461-3480.

10. What will happen to the trees that were planted as part of the Expand the Forest program?
 
The City will preserve, replace, or relocate some of these trees as necessary. Those trees that are damaged or diseased may be replaced. Expand the Forest participants that have trees planted at Village Pond Park are encouraged to contact Amber Haston, Public Works Management Aide, prior to January 2, 2017.  Ms. Haston can be reached at (949) 461-3493 or at ahaston@lakeforestca.gov.

11. How will the pond be refilled?

The pond will be refilled using potable water, which is also used to irrigate the landscape.

12. Who can I contact if I have a question or comment about the project?

Please contact Vicky Blethen, Recreation Manager at (949) 461-3453 or at VPP@lakeforestca.gov.

13. How can I stay up-to-date regarding the project?

Visit the Village Pond Park Improvement project webpage at www.lakeforestca.gov/VPP or subscribe to the Village Pond Park mailing list to receive up-to-date information regarding the project. Information will also be shared on the City’s Facebook page.

11. How will the pond be refilled?

The pond will be refilled using potable water, which is also used to irrigate the landscape.

12. Who can I contact if I have a question or comment about the project?

Please contact Vicky Blethen, Recreation Manager at (949) 461-3453 or at VPP@lakeforestca.gov.

13. How can I stay up-to-date regarding the project?

Visit the Village Pond Park Improvement project webpage at www.lakeforestca.gov/VPP or subscribe to the Village Pond Park mailing list to receive up-to-date information regarding the project. Information will also be shared on the City’s Facebook page.

 

Updated November 15, 2016