What is happening with the Duck Pond?
We are celebrating the importance of the Duck Pond to generations of guests and honoring the memory of Charles Kelley King. We find ourselves in the position of needing to save the beloved Duck Pond, and so it is being reconstructed.
Why does the Duck Pond need restored?
The concrete liner of the Duck Pond has survived surprisingly well considering its age. However, over the years, several major cracks in the concrete liner have developed that are now causing significant leaks. Kingwood staff must constantly add water to the pond to maintain an acceptable water level.
To be good stewards of natural resources, it is imperative to address the deteriorating situation promptly. We are taking the opportunity to not only preserve one of Charles Kelley King’s favorite outdoor recreational features, but we are taking advantage of the opportunity to save water, manage our resources, and partner with nature to improve water quality through filtration. The timing may not seem ideal, however, the pond restoration project can only happen during good weather months.
What will the project include?
The Duck Pond’s historic shape will be honored. The most significant upgrades or additions are the bio and mechanical filtration systems that will improve water quality. The bio-filtration system mimics nature and adds a constructed wetlands area that will naturally filter impurities from the water. Aquatic plant material will add function and beauty to the pond. The mechanical filtration is necessary to remove solid waste from the water. The new Duck Pond will have greatly improved water quality due to the filtration systems, something that both waterfowl and guests will enjoy.
The pond depth will change to support the aquatic plant life and to reduce algae growth. The center depth will increase to 38 inches. A safety edge and underwater ledge offers a controlled and gradual slope from the edge to the center.
A brick sidewalk will still offer access to guests. The finished project will make the Duck Pond feel like more of an integrated and related space to the rest of the garden estate.
What will happen with the ducks?
The ducks have been placed in foster care. There may be wild ducks who choose to relocate to the Nature Pond.
For the guests who still want to feed the ducks, stop by the duck food machines that have been moved to an area behind the Workshop. Then take a walk to the Nature Pond and enjoy this beautiful area. Please beware of nesting Canada Geese from April through June as they are quite protective and may become aggressive if threatened.
Upon completion of the project, ducks will return to Kingwood Center Gardens with the intent to provide a home for a variety of duck species.
Will peacocks or other wildlife be impacted?
Peacocks will remain at Kingwood and ‘oversee’ the construction as they did with the Garden Gateway. The construction zone will be fenced off for the safety of guests, peacocks, and other wildlife. Minimal landscape disruption is a goal.
The observation beehive has been relocated to a new sunny location.
What is the history of the Duck Pond?
The pond was original to the property when Charles Kelley King purchased the estate in 1912. More of a farm pond at that time, it has become an iconic feature and holds lasting memories for generations of guests.
Mr. King enjoyed the pond for ice skating and often hosted skating parties for friends and family. Ducks and other waterfowl lived on the gentleman’s farm along with other animals like chickens, horses, and dogs. There was even a monkey at one time!
How long will it take to complete?
The restoration of the Duck Pond began in March 2022. It is anticipated that the entire project, from demolition to landscaping and planting, will require approximately six months to complete.