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Pond project clears up murky waters

Friday, August 17, 2007

(Photo)
Pastor Bob Muncie and wife Jane look over rehabbed pond.
A rehabilitation project for a pond on the city's northeast side had attracted a lot of attention from passersby, and will be a welcome improvement for its owners.

Greencastle Church of the Nazarene plans to once again use the pond for baptisms and other activities once water again fills the 1 acre-plus pond.

Pastor Bob Muncie, who along with wife Jane took lead of the congregation in December, said the church members had been talking about rehabilitating the pond for years. But he started pushing for the improvement this summer.

"I wanted to go swimming this summer and I couldn't," he recalls.

The moss on the water was choking the pond.

"It had the consistency of wet stringy cotton," he said. "You couldn't paddle a boat without the oars getting covered with moss."

The pond was six-feet deep at its lowest point, but only three-feet deep in most areas, which allowed the sunlight to hit the bottom and encourage the mossy growth.

Muncie first tried to drain the pond himself. The pump he bought took eight days to drain the spring-fed pond.

"I got it down to one and a half feet deep, and then we got an inch of rain and it filled back up," Muncie said.

Contractors were then brought in to open the spillway, which lets overflow run north to Albin Pond. It then took only two days to pump out the pond. They removed a lot of earth, dredging out soil that had silted in during the years when groundwater runoff sought the lowest point and increasing commercial and residential development to the south blocked groundwater absorption.

A lot of earth has been removed to the south of the pond, and when the spillway is replaced, the pond will refill as it's fed by three natural springs and rain.

Muncie said additional plans are to place large flat rocks around the pond as a barrier to cars, and also as seating to watch baptisms.

Jane Muncie said she also thinks other uses for the pond will arise, such as ice skating in the winter.

She said she has been surprised by the amount of public interest the draining of the pond has created. Not only have its resident geese been wondering where the water has gone, but many motorists have stopped by to get the scoop on the dig along Round Barn Road.

As of Thursday afternoon, Pastor Muncie said the project was almost complete. In fact, a large turtle had crawled back into the remaining water hole to soak.



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