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Fountain added to Salem duck pond

Water sprays up from a new lighted fountain installed just last month at the duck pond at Waterworth Memorial Park in Salem. The Salem Parks Department received a $2,700 grant from the Columbiana County land bank for the project. At night, the fountain lights up in different colors. The project is one of several improvements done at the duck pond the last few years. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

SALEM — Recent visitors to Waterworth Memorial Park may have noticed a new fountain shooting a scenic spray of water toward the sky at the duck pond.

Salem Parks Director Shane Franks said the real view comes after dark, when the fountain projects beautiful changing colors of light.

Not only does it add to the ambiance of that area, the new fountain also helps stir up the water as another aerator, which can help keep it cleaner. The parks department already has four aerators under the water.

The fountain, which was installed in June and funded through a $2,700 grant from the Columbiana County land bank, is just one of several improvements made in the duck pond area in recent years. Franks said there’s more to come.

“I see people out here every day enjoying the duck pond. I think it’s the kind of feature that I don’t think a lot of other parks have to offer. I’m glad the parks department can give the community something like that,” he said.

He said park personnel are looking at working on the landscaping surrounding the pond. Home Depot plans to do a free community project to repair and improve the bridge area, for the bridge that leads to the island on the pond.

According to Franks, the noticeable improvements began two or three years ago when a Boy Scout from Troop 6 at St. Paul, Stephen Baer, cleaned up and revitalized the island, installed a new gazebo, removed and repainted the old walking bridge that connects to the path around the pond, added new mulch and a newly painted turtle to the playground area, repaired and restored all the benches around the pond, replaced old fencing, updated and repainted the stagecoach and updated the old sign with an informational, interactive and attractive nature theme. Baer did the work for his Eagle Scout project.

The parks department also made an effort to reduce the geese population, which could in turn lead to a cleaner walkway area and a cleaner pond. Using a plan formulated with the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District, a small fence was placed around the perimeter of the pond last year, with foliage also planted to build a natural barrier in an effort to make the pond less desirable to the geese. Noise makers were also used.

As a result, Franks said the number of geese has been reduced from nearly 150 at one point to about 35 now. Another way to keep the water cleaner was the addition of an algae/nutrient treatment.

Franks said they try to keep up with the landscaping every year. They’ll continue to plant different species of flowers along the edge.

He said the parks department just wants to thank the community members and organizations for helping improve the duck pond area to the shape it’s in today.

“It’s a real community effort,” he said.

There are still some water fowl who utilize the pond and there’s a number of turtles who hang out on the bank or peek above the surface occasionally. Signs are posted asking visitors not to feed the wildlife.

Park hours across the park system are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Franks said he’s noticed more and more people are coming to the parks and commented that the numbers seemed to increase especially last year. People discovered or rediscovered the parks during the pandemic, coming to the pavilions to eat lunch or dinner, walking the trails, strolling around the duck pond, playing sports and just enjoying the outdoors.

Now that everything is reopened, including the pool, he said those visitors are still coming.

To learn more about park programs, visit the department’s Facebook page or call the office at 2222 Oak St. at 330-271-8913.

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