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Bonavista pond gets multi-year wetland makeover

O'Dea's Pond

O'Dea's Pond has gone through a number of changes over the years — from sewage overflow site to popular green space. (Submitted)

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A tidal water pond in the centre of Bonavista is getting a makeover that aims to return it to its former wetland glory. 

O'Dea's Pond has gone through a number of changes over the years.

"It doesn't really resemble much of its original shape, size, depth," said John Norman, who's with both the Bonavista Environmental Committee and Stewardship Association of Municipalities (SAM).

In the early 1900s, the pond was dredged to expand the size of the harbour, but over time it became silted. A few decades later, the pond was an outflow site for the town's sewage. In the 1990s, the town changed its sewage treatment and the pond was cleaned up.

"Here we are today with a very popular green space," Norman said.

"And now we're really looking at the environmental condition of the space around it."

O'Dea's Ducks

The wetland upgrade will put a new focus on local wildlife. (Submitted)

The environmental committee is starting a multi-year project to convert the pond back to a wetland. This comes after some much needed funding from the federal and municipal government, as well as SAM — including about $60,000 and other in-kind services from the town.

Some of the area will be excavated to create shallow ponds. The group then plans to plant native species to the area which will contribute to local wildlife. The group also plans to add interpretation panels which will include information on plants and birds in the area. 

"A lot of people are utilizing this space," said Norman.

"We want to make sure it's environmentally maximized, and we create valuable habitat."

Construction on the project kicked off on Friday.

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