The Omaha Public Works Department is helping return a storm-water pond on the edge of Levi Carter Park to a more natural state.
The pond, with its surrounding woods and shrubby vegetation, had been designated a natural area by the Omaha Parks and Recreation Department earlier this year.
Shortly after that designation, a succession of work crews from Union Pacific Railroad, the Omaha Public Power District and public works cleared a significant portion of the vegetation.
Omaha birder Jim Ducey, whose idea it was to designate the pond a nature area, praised public works for its efforts to establish native grasses, replace trees that had been removed, clean up debris and remedy other problems at the site.
The pond, on a far corner of the park, had been a dumping ground for mattresses, trash, tires and other debris.
“Birds in this bit of space have provided many wonderful moments, so it seemed appropriate to make the place a nicer habitat,” Ducey said. “With the removal of trash and other recent improvements, the place has sort of a greater sense of nature than it formerly had.”
Ducey, too, has worked to clean up the site.
Between Ducey and public works, several bags of trash, carpet, plywood, tires, concrete blocks and an abandoned power pole have been hauled away this fall. Earlier, in the summer, larger waste was removed.
Ducey said public works prepped the ground and seeded it just before a nice rain in November. He also culled some invasive cedar trees from the area.
A contractor removed a concrete block structure that had been a hazard.
Some additional seeding remains to be done, Ducey said, and public works is evaluating how to manage prairie grasses that were seeded.