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What's Happening?

Shoreline Improvements Phase 1 Completed!

We are pleased to report that the Water Department has completed the Phase 1 shoreline stablization work this year.   This work will improve water quality at the pond by adding native species that filter water as it goes in to the pond, and reducing erosion.  The Conservancy raised $10,000 to contribute to this work.  The Water Department provided additional financial support, as well as the techical know-how and labor.  The need for this work was established in the Lake Management Plan that the Conservancy funded in 2015.  It is wondeful to see that plan yielding results, and to get such great support from the City to make it happen.

Here are the highlights of what was done:

  • New granite curbing on Berkshire Blvd on the southern side of the pond near Euclid Avenue.  That curbing will direct runoff into an existing catch basin.  This is hopefully going to address the repeated erosion problem we've had near the tree at that entrance to the pond.
     
  • Invasive species were removed from the embankment in two separate areas.  The shoreline was stabilized with "coir logs" and cattail plugs were planted into each log with a native buffer of plantings on the embankment behind the coir logs.  Species planted were blue flag iris, arrowhead, pickerelweed and sensitive fern.  This should increase the filtering of water as it enters the pond, reducing pollutants and particulates in the pond.  It also adds to the native plants needed to support our native birds and animals.
     
  • Japanese knotweed in a 40’ by 30’ area along Berkshire Boulevard was excavated.   This extremely invasive plant was in only one location at the pond.  We have many invasives throughout, but this one was still in a small enough area that we hope we can stop it before it spreads. 

    Clean soil and native plantings were placed on the embankment after removal of the knotweed and roots.  To protect the residual trees in the area, the depth of digging was likely not deep enough to remove all the knotweed rhizomes.  So we expect to see knotweed sprouts in the spring.  Please let us know if/when you see those Japanese knotweed shoots appear - the Water Department has promised to stay with this - it will be a multi‐year battle!
     

  • Soil was removed in the two areas that needed turf re‐establishment. The soil was removed and replaced by new topsoil, seeded, and a turf erosion control mat placed on top of the area.
     
  • The bioengineered shoreline stabilization with the native buffer will improve water quality and enhance habitats and aesthetics. The removal of invasive species improves habitats by removing risk of colonization and competition with beneficial native plants. Installing the reinforcement turf mats will decrease erosion and increase water quality, aesthetics, and bank stabilization.

 

Playground Update

The old playground has been removed.  New equipment will be delivered tomorrow 10/19.  It will take several weeks before it is built, installed and ready to go.  Many thanks to the City of Albany, especially the Department of General Services and the Recreation Department for their support.

We will keep posting pictures so you can see the progress.  But until then, sadly the "Children at Play" sign is a bit ironic!

Playground Update

The playground is coming! DGS tells us that they will begin taking down the existing playground this Thursday 10/12 in preparation for the new and improved one. It will be at least a few weeks before the new one is up and ready to play. We'll keep you posted!

Ice Cream Social Sunday 9/10

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Come out and enjoy some ice cream courtesy of Stewarts and kick off the beginning of Fall with friends and neighbors at the Pond
Sunday Septebmer 10th, 2017
1PM - 3 PM
Nature Tours with Sean Madden
Music by Brett Sears

Duck Rescue!

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Here's a feel good story for the week ... Yesterday police officers got a call about a duck tangled in a fishing line at Buckingham Pond today. The back of the duck's wing was tangled in a line that was stuck high in a tree. Officers Dan Kuhn and Greg McGee and two employees of True Green worked together and with sticks and poles, managed to get the duck free! She seems to be OK, we saw her flap her wings a few times before leaving the pond. Thank you Albany Police Department!

Volunteer Construction Leader Needed!

We are making excellent progress on the playground project.  The equipment has been ordered, the City is on board to do the heavy work, and now we need to figure out the details of the volunteer part of the construction.  We could use some help to do that.   Do you know someone who is comfortable with tools and construction, who is good at planning ahead, and who'd be willing to help us bring this project to fruition?  Are you that person?  Read on for more details, and if you are interested, get in touch at info@buckinghampondconservancy.org
 
The Conservancy has raised the necessary funds for a new playground at Buckingham Pond.  (Thank you to everyone who donated, especially to our major donors: The Lobo Living Trust in memory of Angelo & Victoria Lobo, the Massry Family, the City of Albany, the Bender Family Foundation and Dolores Hamilton).  
 
In order to stretch our dollars to get the best playground possible, we are planning on a "community build".  That means volunteers will do the lighter work of assembling the playstructures.  City of Albany's Deparment of General Services will do the heavy work including digging footings, pouring concrete, and spreading the engineered wood fiber surface.  Kompan (the playground equipment company) will provide an installer to coordinate and supervise the installation work.
 
What we need is someone to be the primary contact on our side, who has the time and skills to get to a fine level of detail to coordinate with DGS and plan for the right amount of time and the right number of volunteers.   Ideally that person would be availabe during the build to help ensure that everything goes smoothly.
 
The planning time is basically now, or soon. We anticipate that the equipment will be delivered around 10/19 or 10/20, and we'll want to do the actual build as soon as possible after that.    (For those who aren't right for the construction leader, but do want to help build our awesome new playgound,  keep an eye on this space, we'll let you know here about dates and times for the build once we get those details worked out.)
 
Please contact info@buckinghampondconservancy.org if you think you can help with this effort, or know someone who can.
 

Don't Be Surprised by Low Water Levels

Don't be surprised if you notice low water levels in the pond. This is actually good news! The water department is doing some shore-line stabilization and needed to lower the water level by about 6". This is a temporary change ...water levels will soon return to normal.

This work is funded by donations to BPC including a substantial anonymous donation. Thanks to all of our donors, and special thanks to you Anonymous! Another great example of BPC and the City working together for improvements at the Pond.

This is just one of several strategies for addressing water quality concerns that were identified in the Lake Management Plan developed for BPC by B&L engineering in 2015. The Conservancy is working every day to identify resources to implement these improvements so that Buckingham Pond continues to provide a little bit of nature in the City for all the residents of Albany!  Read the Lake Management Plan here

Wondering What's Happening at the Pond?

Have you been wondering what's been going on at the pond?   We're happy to report that the City of Albany is addressing the long-standing erosion problem at the Euclid entrance on the south (New Scotland) side.  This area has been washing out during each large storm, creating a small canyon that makes it difficult to traverse, and results in lots of stone dust in the Pond. The Conservancy identified this as a concern as far back as 2009, and we are so happy that the Water Department is addressing this.  Thank you Commissioner Joe Coffey!

Please provide feedback on draft playground design

BPC is making great progress on raising funds and finalizing a design for a new and improved playground at Buckingham Pond.  Special thanks to the Lobo Living Trust, the Massry Family and the Bender Family Foundation for their financial support.

Designing a playground is a tricky balance of providing fun and activity for kids of all ages and abilities within a limited space and with a limited budget.  The playground designer has provided the design shown below and we'd welcome your feedback via email to info@buckinghampondconservancy.org no later than Sunday, June 11, 2017.  We hope to finalize the equipment shortly aiming for fall installation.

Below you will find three images - two views of how the playground will look, and an image with the location of the new playground shown over the existing site.  Click on each to see a larger view.  There is also a pdf with detailed information about each piece of equipment shown in the images. (This file is 6.44 MB so it may take a minute to download.)  

The draft design includes two separate areas - one designed for toddlers, and one for larger kids.  Each includes its own separate swing area.  The initial feedback from the community was quite clear that families want more swings at the pond!

We believe a refined version of this draft will be achievable with help from the City of Albany - but making it happen will require lots volunteer labor as well.  We will keep you posted as the plans for that are finalized.

And don't forget - if you want to have your family recognized at the pond, and help support the playground in the process, you can put your message on a commemorative brick for $50 (4" x 8") or $100 (8" x 8").  Purchase here: https://www.bricksrus.com/order/buckinghampond/

Sincerely,

Felton McLaughlin
President

 

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Aerial

Goose Killer?

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Buckingham Pond often struggles with too many geese - their droppings create a mess along the path and grass, and they contribute to water quality problems because they add too much fertilizer to the water and encourage too much plant growth.  This is why we ask everyone to please, please not feed the geese and ducks.  Feeding them attracts more birds than the pond can support and exacerbates the problems.
 
But apparently someone has taken matters in to their own hands in an unlawful way.  Please see below from our community policy officer, and if you see something, please get in contact with Officer Brooks.
 
You may also be interested to read the All Over Albany article here: http://alloveralbany.com/archive/2017/05/18/apd-somebody-is-killing-gees....  
 
From Officer Brooks:
There has been recent incident at the Buckingham Lake/Pond regarding the geese population. There has been confirmed sightings of an unknown person killing the geese that reside at the pond. I do realize the geese may be a social nuisance but still this action is unacceptable.  What I am asking is to keep a diligent observation towards any one who is in close proximity of these animals.
 
****Possible suspect sightings is a unknown white male dressing in a blue uniform operating a red newer model pick up with the lettering "DGS Wildlife" on the side. If you see this suspect or vehicle at or about the park area notify the police immediately ****
 
Note: Illegally killing  Canadian Geese is in violation of Federal Fish/Wildlfe and NYS EnCon Law   
 
Any questions email me directly
        
Officer James Brooks
 
Albany Police Department CSU
 
536 Western Ave
Albany NY 12203
email jbrooks@albany-ny.org
office 518-458-5669
station desk 518-458-5660
fax 518-458-5669                              
cell 518-795-0020
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