Thanks to Ethan Mayes, an intern with the garden department, who writes about the restoration of Upper Duck Pond. (This pond is on Duck Pond Road, near the Wilmington Country Club and the Dairy Barn.)
There are many ponds located within the bounds of Winterthur; the oldest of which are located adjacent to Duck Pond Road. In fact, Upper and Lower Duck Pond were used to produce ice blocks for the ice house eventually replaced by the invention of the refrigerator. Lower Duck Pond is rumored to have the biggest fish of all the ponds on the property, but Upper Duck Pond probably could not support even a single bluegill. Upper Duck Pond is in desperate need of restoration.
Along with its historical value, Upper Duck Pond serves as a natural sediment catch to its surrounding environment. As water runoffs the neighboring country club and other surrounding areas, a large amount of soil, silt and other deposits are carried right into Upper Duck Pond. The sediment fills the pond and hinders its full ecological potential. Also, if this is allowed to continue, Lower Duck Pond will eventually succumb to the same fate.
Although Winterthur is still obtaining the appropriate permits, restoration is scheduled to begin in the next couple months. Approximately 1,100 cubic yards of sediment deposits will be dredged from the pond and stockpiled in a designated area near what is known as the brush pile. The spoils will be allowed to dry, graded into the land, and then seeded. Along with the pond restoration, a stream enhancement project is in planning with the objective of reducing sediment runoff.
Next time you take a leisurely walk past Upper Duck Pond and think “What a sore sight!”, don’t worry. It will soon be returned to health and beauty.