Veterans Park, formerly known as Village Pond Park, was re-dedicated Tuesday, Nov. 20 with a small ceremony and a ribbon-cutting after more than a year of redesigning, draining and installing .
The redesigned park now features meandering sidewalks, an updated lake shore, a butterfly garden and a veterans monument to honor members of each branch of the armed forces - living up to the park's new name.
Over the last year, construction crews reshaped the pond, reinforced the wire mesh and poured concrete to create the pond. This concrete pond bottom is coupled with a new liner as well as an aeration system to improve water quality and safety.
This project is the first major improvement at the park in the last 40 years.
Those who visit the park may notice reflective devices that the City deployed at various locations to discourage waterfowl from nesting. These devices do not harm the birds in any way but prevent the waterfowl from becoming too comfortable. The City has enlisted the help of experts and is following advice from the Humane Society to discourage waterfowl from taking up residence at Veterans Park.
The City of Lake Forest Wildlife Ordinance prohibits the feeding of animals at the facility. This ordinance not only discourages nesting but also acts to prevent the animals from ingesting potentially harmful foods. The park is patrolled and violators of the ordinance are subject to a $100 fine. Additionally, the City installed a camera system to discourage vandalism and identify individuals who feed the animals in violation of the City’s Wildlife Ordinance.
Real-time video from the park will available on the City's website later this month so viewers can enjoy - and watch over - the park from any Internet-connected device.
Overpopulation and public feeding of waterfowl has contributed to water quality issues of the pond and has complicated maintenance and the public's enjoyment of the park. Over the past few years, the City has continued to work with the Association on water quality matters, adopted a Wildlife Ordinance prohibiting the feeding of waterfowl, and launched educational outreach efforts. In addition, the City and landscape architect, Nuvis, have held numerous community workshops to gather input regarding potential park improvements. Based on community input, a Final Design (PDF) is available for viewing, and incorporates best practices and proposed features designed to discourage the overpopulation of waterfowl.