Campus News

Trouble in Pond Paradise

by Ali Gue

A group of students from the Community and Regional Studies course started the Sarah’s Glen Pond Restoration Project at the beginning of the 2022 spring semester to make the pond healthier and prevent the loss of everything living within its waters.

Students across Shenandoah University’s campus are familiar with Sarah’s Glen as they travel through the area for campus tours and classes. Sarah’s Glen features a domed pavilion and gardens, and it has many chairs for passersby to stop and enjoy their time on campus. Yet, some students find themselves avoiding the area due to a strong smell that stems from the pond, which is caused by an imbalance of various substances and the act of bacteria breaking down waste within the water.

“It is dirty sometimes, and it stinks,” said Zakiyyah Thompson, a senior at Shenandoah University. “The scenery is really pretty, but when you get close, you don’t wanna be there anymore.”

Since the pond takes in polluted water from Abrams Creek, it decreases the health of the water. A dead fish and a dead turtle were found during the restoration project’s clean-up process earlier in the 2022 spring semester, and one member, Richard Covington, said it is likely due to the poor pond health.

“The water coming from Abrams Creek isn’t the healthiest…” said Covington, a member of the pond project and a junior environmental studies major at Shenandoah. “There is a lot of

runoff from the roads, which leads to chemicals and other pollutants getting into the water and therefore the pond.”

The pond project group wants to rebuild the riparian buffer, a vegetated area near the edge of waterways, to reduce chemical runoff and minimize the erosion of sediment in the future. This will decrease the smell due to less loss of life within the pond and increase the healthiness of the water overall.

“This project is very interesting for our group, and we are hoping our plans and actions can help alleviate some of the problems with the water quality,” said Covington.

The Sarah’s Glen Pond Restoration Project reaches its conclusion the week before finals in May, but its positive effects on the pond will remain for years to come.

Categories: Campus News

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