City of Odessa Adding Water to Memorial Gardens Pond

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - We're not the only ones suffering from this blazing heat, so are the animals. Many of you were concerned about the ducks that live at the Memorial Gardens Pond, wondering how they're surviving this drought.

NewsWest 9 spoke with city officials Monday and they said they're trying to do everything they can to make sure this pond doesn't run dry again.

"We get used to seeing it with water and with the ducks and everything," resident Susie Mireles, said. "Now that it's gone down, it's sad."

"It is just devastating," Dewey Bryant, an employee in the Atrium building next to the pond, said. "But like I said without any rain, what can we expect?"

Some are calling it an eyesore. Others said it's just too sad to look at.

For months the water at the Memorial Gardens duck pond in Odessa has been declining but now some relief for the ducks is in sight.

"We were able to put a million gallons of water into the pond area so that will sustain what wildlife is there," Parks and Recreation Director, Steve Patton, said.

Patton says the city is well aware of the situation at the pond.

"We've been doing something for quite some time now," he said.

Patton said they've been working closely with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to save the ducks in the area.

Ducks will move if necessary to find water, but people who kept feeding the ducks at the pond actually made the problem worse.

"They will stand there in the heat and fall over dead, knowing that we are going to show up with food and feed them, so they wont leave," Patton said.

They tried relocating the ducks to another pond in Ector County.

"To be able to move those ducks, they do have to be tranquilized through a drug that's put in some food," Patton said. "The ducks were so overfed, they wouldn't take the bait."

Now their only option is to add reclamated water to the pond and Patton said they'll keep doing it as long as the ducks are there.

"They should be able to cool off, they're swimming around, we're adding a half million gallons of water as we speak," Patton said. "We put a million in on Friday and we'll keep enough in there now that we've shored off one area and the wildlife should be just fine."

"If they're going to keep putting water in it, that's great," Mireles said.

"I just appreciate what the city is doing and pray for rain," Bryant said.

Patton said the fish will naturally re-populate themselves. City officials in Midland said the duck pond is low but they haven't had to add water.