By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) – Jim Ducey said miscommunication was what resulted in a pond at Levi Carter Park getting too cleared out. The nature enthusiast and birder said the area near 13th and Grand Avenue is a place for birds and other wildlife to rest and visit—he didn't want trash crowding it.
So Ducey asked Omaha City Parks and Recreation director, Brook Bench to have signs put up surrounding the 2-3 acre pond as a "Natural Wildlife Area" to discourage people from walking through, over and leaving trash behind.
The signs went up in July. But in August, Ducey said contractor crews aggressively came to the park and cleaned up trash and other areas, he said, didn't need cleaning.
"We had a little area where that could be recognized and it's been dramatically altered and it just doesn't have the same value," Ducey said.
Crews with Union Pacific, Omaha Public Power District and the city's Public Works Department got rid of vegetation around half the pond.
"So all these people that came in and did this work didn't even consider if they might do it differently."
The problem is that the pond is in the middle of other services thousands of people in Omaha benefit from. OPPD's power lines cross over the trees. Union Pacific's rail line that delivers coal to OPPD's north Omaha plant is right new to the pond.
The signs do not protect the pond from these higher priorities.
Ducey said the city is planning to replant native grasses that are wildlife friendly and will limit mowing at the pond to once a year so to maintain the nature look and feel.
"I'm pleased that they responded. I'm still waiting to see the result. There have been claims of this being done and that being done," he continued. "Until it happens, I'll just wait and see and continue to try to work with them so we can get that done."
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