CITY OF MARION PARKS DEPARTMENT CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN:
Parks Department must raise $20,000 by July 11th at Midnight
Matter Park’s fishing pond offers recreational opportunities for our community and is a great place for children to get outdoors and learn to fish. However, the water quality and habitat of this pond have been degraded over the years due to excessive nutrients and sediment being funneled into the pond from the surrounding land. This has caused an explosion of algal growth that chokes out fish and other wildlife.
To renovate the pond, it will be drained so that about six feet of sediment can be removed from the bottom. The pond banks will then be re-shaped as needed to address erosion. This will improve access to the pond for fishing and allow for the establishment of native plants, providing a habitat for wildlife.
Glacial stone will be placed along the west shoreline to reinforce the banks and add aesthetic value. Fish nesting structures will also be added to the pond, along with a selection of native fish, to promote natural reproduction and sustainable fish populations. This is a piece of a larger restoration project that will improve the overall watershed in the park.
The streams connected to the pond offer picturesque areas to explore and learn about aquatic ecosystems. However, the banks have eroded over time, causing further sediment buildup. The drainage ditch feeding the pond funnels excessive amounts of leaves into the water, contributing to the above-mentioned issues. Some private citizens started this project by funding the removal of sediment and weeds from the pond’s outflow stream and restructuring the banks.
To address the remaining issues, we will enclose the inflow ditch with drainage tile to exclude debris. We will also add boulders and native plants to the other inflow and outflow streams to reduce erosion and improve wildlife habitat. Each of these elements will improve the area for recreation and enjoyment of the outdoors.
“The City of Marion Parks Department is excited to be renovating our fishing pond and improving Matter Park for our visitors,” says Taylere McCoy with the City of Marion Parks Department. “We are eternally grateful to the Community Foundation and their donors for the opportunity provided by their crowdfunding grant. Their generosity goes such a long way in making Grant County a great place to live!”
The Parks Department sees this project as an opportunity to enhance fishing resources, as well as outdoor recreation and education as a whole. During the pandemic, people all over the world realized how valuable our outdoor resources are. Parks became a safer place to participate in activities and interact with each other. Those that felt isolated and cooped up at home were able to go for a walk or bike ride, enjoy fresh air and sunshine, hear birds and see wildlife all around them.
Parks are important resources for exercise and improving mental health. There has been a big push recently by health care facilities and professionals to get more people outdoors as a way to treat chronic medical conditions. Schools are trying to get more kids outdoors to learn about and appreciate their natural environments. Studies show that these kinds of interactions are especially helpful to children with learning disabilities and ADHD.
Through this project, we can create partnerships with health care facilities, schools, and community organizations that will provide valuable programming for everyone in our community. For example, Marion Utilities holds a yearly Community Day event that includes a fishing competition, and General Motors works with students to teach them about water quality at Matter Park. We want to see more activities like this available for our residents and anyone visiting Grant County.