YAKIMA, Wash. — Starting next week, the popular 1-acre pond at Yakima’s Randall Park will be drained so it can be deepened to accommodate stormwater run-off.
When the pond was created back in 1974, it was 12 feet deep in places. Over time, sediment carried by run-off has built up and reduced the pond’s depth.
“The pond was getting shallow,” city Parks and Recreation manager Ken Wilkinson said. “We needed to do something or in a few years we wouldn’t have a pond.”
The work will allow the park to keep its pond, but also increase its capacity for stormwater. The shoreline will also be improved to make it easier for the run-off to enter the pond.
Because of the area’s bedrock, Wilkinson said, there won’t be a uniform depth across the whole pond, but the department is aiming for about 7 feet.
“At some places it could be 4 feet and at others it could be 8,” he said. “It just depends on if they end up hitting bedrock. They don’t really know what they’re going to get into.”
In addition to researching how deep they could make the pond, staff also talked about the fate of the pond’s ducks while it’s drained, he said.
“I think some of them will stay there and some will go to other ponds,” he said. “We think they’re going to be just fine. And if we don’t get this done, they’re going to have nowhere to go.”
The pond will stay drained through the winter months.
The project is part of a three-year Randall Park improvement plan, which is funded in part by a $500,000 state grant. The city will contribute $225,000, and another $375,000 will come from donations from the Southwest, Downtown and Sunrise Rotary clubs, the Lions Club and others.
“We can’t thank our local service clubs enough for their part in this project,” Wilkinson said.
Other improvements include a new restroom, rebuilt pathways, a new bridge, new playground equipment, basketball courts, two new picnic shelters and improved parking lots.
Work on the 48th Avenue parking lot, which was started earlier this year, is nearly completed. The 44th Avenue parking lot and walkways will be improved in 2018.