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What's Happening?

Pond Path Improvements Underway

The City of Albany Department of General Services is making some much needed improvements to the path on the South (New Scotland) side of the pond this fall. This section of the path is very low, and has been in mild disrepair for years, with rail road ties and wooden supports falling in to the pond, and occasional flooding significant enough to make the path impassable. Getting this issue corrected has been on our high priority list, so we're thrilled that DGS is able to get to that this year. They are widening and elevating this section, which should alleviate the problems with flooding. Sadly we will lose some vegetation in this area due to the construction, but it should soon grow back Edited 1/21/2012: Note that while the work is paused for the winter there is still more to be done and we've heard from DGS that they will be out working on our path again when the weather breaks.

Ice Cream Social

What a wonderful event today.

Many thanks to Ruth Pelham and The Music Mobile for a wonderful event today. A good time was had by all.

Pond path improvements coming

The City of Albany Department of General Services tells us that they will make some much needed improvements to the path on the South (New Scotland) side of the pond this fall. This section of the path is very low, and has been in mild disrepair for years, with rail road ties and wooden supports falling in to the pond, and occasional flooding significant enough to make the path impassable. Getting this issue corrected has been on our high priority list, so we're thrilled that DGS is able to get to that this year.

They plan to widen and elevate this section, which should alleviate the problems with flooding. Sadly we will lose some vegetation in this area due to the construction, but it should soon grow back.

No start date has been given for the work, but they say it should happen this fall.

Help Needed with Loosestrife Wed Sept 14th 6:00 pm

On Wednesday, September 14th at 6:00 PM we will continue our efforts to suppress Purple Loosestrife from the pond. Purple Loosestrife is a problem for the pond because it chokes out native plants like cattails. Cattails are needed by native species like ducks and muskrats, and they also help filter the water that runs in to the pond. For the last two summers we've dug out what we could, and it's clearly making a difference, this year there are noticeably more cattails and less loosestrife - but there's more to do this year.

If you can spare an hour or so, please join us at the Euclid Avenue end of the pond on Wednesday Sept 14th at 6:00 PM. Bring work gloves, long handled spades, and waders if you've got 'em. We have some tools to loan as well, so don't let a lack of tools stop you from coming! The worst of the remaining loosestrife is in a hard to get location right at the end of the pond. But if you don't have waders, please come anyway - there are individual plants in easier locations, and we need folks on dry land to help out.

If you plan to come, please let us know at albanybpc@gmail.com.

Ice Cream Social Sunday 9/11 1 to 3 PM

Ice Cream Social at Buckingham Pond
Sunday September 11, 2011
1:00 to 3:00 PM

Donations gratefully accepted to support Buckingham Pond Conservancy
In addition to ice cream hotdogs and other refreshments will also be available.

Featuring the with Ruth Pelham
Performance at 2:00 PM
Building Peaceful Communities Through Music
Come join our neighbor Ruth Pelham whose voice and vision has earned her the affection and trust of audiences young and old alike. Her music touches our common heart and renews our hope for humanity's ability to grow toward a lasting world peace.
All voices are enthusiastically encouraged to be part of the community chorus!

Help Needed with Loosestrife August 20th 9:00 am

On Saturday August 20th we will continue our efforts to suppress Purple Loosestrife from the pond. Purple Loosestrife is a problem for the pond because it chokes out native plants like cattails. Cattails are needed by native species like ducks and muskrats, and they also help filter the water that runs in to the pond. For the last two summers we've dug out what we could, and it's clearly making a difference, this year there are noticeably more cattails and less loosestrife - but there's more to do this year.

If you can spare an hour or so, please join us at the Euclid Avenue end of the pond on Saturday 8/20 at 9:00 am. Bring work gloves, long handled spades, and waders if you've got 'em. The worst of the remaining loosestrife is in a hard to get location right at the end of the pond. But if you don't have waders, please come anyway - there are individual plants in easier locations, and we need folks on dry land to help out.

Also on August 20th, we'll be continuing our CSLAP water sampling, so you'll get to see that in action. If you want to help with the water testing, that starts at 8:30 at the foot of Lenox Avenue on the South (New Scotland) side of the pond.

Where did all the water go?

Well the pond's not quite as dry as the moon, but it is pretty dry! File this one under the category of "Mistakes Happen". The water department was testing the pump at the west end of the pond. They turned it to "on" as part of the test and and forgot to turn it back to "automatic". The net result is what you see when you walk around the pond right now - missing water!

While it would be theoretically possible to re-fill the pond with municipal water, the board's inclination is not to ask the City to do that for fear of Chlorine in the water having negative ramifications on the fish and other wildlife.

CDTA Restruturing Meetings

While this isn't a directly pond related issue, we thought some neighbors who are also Conservancy members would like to know that CDTA has announced route restructuring, and as per the announced plan "Buckingham Pond neighborhood . . . will no longer have direct access to regular route service. Customers will have a reasonable walking distance to more frequent services on nearby corridors."

There is a public input meeting: Thursday, July 14, 4:00-8:00pm Albany Public Library – Pine Hills Branch at 517 Western Avenue

Visit www.cdta.org for more information.

So Far So Good

The Conservancy is making a concerted effort to rid our pond of the invasive species Purple Loosestrife. Purple Loosestrife is a problem for the pond because it chokes out native animals like cattails. Cattails are needed by native species like ducks and muskrats, and they also help filter the water that runs in to the pond.

For the last two years we've dug out every scrap we can find. So we're keeping a careful watch to see what comes up this year. I was initially concerned when I saw some purple flower heads popping up. But it turns out to be Blue Vervain, which is a native flower known for attracting butterflies.

I still expect to find some loosestrife this year - it's known for being invasive, but so far, so good.

Here are images of the two together, so you can see the differences. On the left is Blue Vervain, on the right, Purple Loosestrife.

Blue Vervain
Purple Loosestrife

Underwater

If you've tried to walk the South (New Scotland) side of the path recently, you'll have noticed that it's been underwater for much of the last few weeks. These pictures were taken on Thursday 6/16/2011.

Even before the rain, we had talked with the City's Department of General Services about the failing rail road ties. When we alerted them that the path was underwater they assured us that once the path dries out they will be working on raising the path to prevent this from happening again - both where the ties are failing and further west near where the path was recently reconfigured. We'll be talking to them as the summer continues and we'll keep you posted as we find out more.

Many thanks to DGS for adding this to their long list of things to attend to.

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