Josh Morrisey, City of Spokane Parks & Recreation, Marketing Assistant, 509.625.6236
Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 3:34 p.m.
Updated September 19, 2019
In recent years, Spokane residents may have noticed Manito Park’s Mirror Pond has been looking… a little green, to say the least. The culprit? Planktonic algae.
Buildup of broken down organic material on the bottom of the pond has loaded the water with both nitrogen and phosphorous, which are great foods for algae (one pound of phosphorus can support over 500 pounds of algae). The pond is also shallow and there is not enough water above the pond floor to filter out light, which also aids algae blooms. Algae is not harmful to pond ecosystems in small amounts, but large blooms not only cloud the water, they remove oxygen from the water, harming wildlife.
The restoration project aims to solve this algae buildup problem without the use of toxic chemicals with six important steps.
It’s important to note that a healthy pond is not completely free of algae, but has moderate enough amounts to benefit the ecosystem of the pond without blooming to the point of removing too much oxygen from the water. So, will Mirror Pond be crystal-clear or bright blue after the rehabilitation project? Not quite, but the difference will be dramatic. Most importantly, the pond will be healthy again.
The project is expected to start in late fall 2019 and be completed by spring 2020.
Big thanks to the Friends of Manito for their financial support of this project.