Hambisela Horticultural Services have successfully cut back the Typha. Currently, they are offloading the debris onto a skip, which has proven to be a rather slow process. Hambisela has opted to use a trailer to transport the debris which has helped to speed up this process.
The 2nd phase has now been implemented for the Duck Pond Revamp. This phase consists of the planting of 25 trees, which has been donated by the City’s Parks Department.
Hambisela Horticultural Services is in the process of developing a water plan for the Duck Pond, as the new trees need to be watered regularly.
The 2nd phase also involves the cleaning of the channels and extending the existing lower retention pond by use of a diggerloader.
Background history about the redesign of the Duck Pond.
Redesign in 1991
Mrs Colleen Street was commissioned to redesign the Duck Pond and park in 1991. This formed part of her final year in her Landscaping degree. The park at the time was in serious disrepair. The park consisted of a marsh where the top dam is now and a small retention dam where the lower dam (close to the Deli) is now.
The area in between was marshy and extremely littered. It was full of Typha and was the home of numbers of homeless people. A number of huge old Bluegum trees grew at the top end and a group of Poplar trees on the side of the Primary School. There were no formal pathways.
The council excavated the upper dam according to her plan and built the pathways as well as redoing the lower dam. She had planned for many groups and individual trees, but these were not planted at the time. In the past number of years, more trees have been added and the paths resurfaced and edged.
Colleen’s design included water flowing over the weir runs down to a channel to another retention dam opposite the shopping centre. This acts as a break on the velocity of the water, which then flows out of the lower retention dam via a concrete channel into a storm-water pipe that takes it underground into Doordekraal Dam.
Colleen’s husband, Barry, is a keen birder and at the time of the 1991 redesign observed the usual waterbirds (Coots & Moorhen) and ducks (Yellow-billed) at the duck pond as well as the usual suburban birds (Doves, pigeons, sparrows, weavers etc).
In later years we have seen the African Spoonbill, Grey and Black-necked Heron, Bishops with occasional Malachite Kingfisher. Feral ducks (Quakkers) and Egyptian Geese are common. The Hadeda and Sacred Ibis feed in the surrounding grassland and Blacksmith Plovers breed near the lower dam.
Mrs Colleen Street, duck pond park designer
We have seen freshwater crabs, and signs that Cape clawless otters have been feeding on them. There are terrapins (freshwater turtles) in the dam who tend to be aggressive. There are some sizeable fish including Tilapia, Barbel and a few Koi presumably dumped there by residents. In summer the dam attracts dragonflies and the clicking of frogs can be heard.