Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. August 2015
The City of Lacey has completed work on the Storm Water Retention Ponds that lie immediately next to Panorama property on our southeast. This is the culmination of a lot of work by the Planning Commission who took into account local neighbors concerns as this was shaping up. Many residents from Panorama and neighbors to our south and East were very concerned with the original idea of a regular two lane road that would join the two quiet neighborhoods. Planners had hoped to alleviate some of the College Street traffic bottlenecks and open a second way into the neighborhoods until a roundabout was constructed to help.
The whole idea of more traffic moving through quiet communities with children using the streets and Panorama with slower-moving residents walking across streets was identified as a less-than-perfect use of the service road through the retention pond area. To this end, many of our residents were joined by many of the neighbors outside of our boundaries attending four of the Planning Commission public meetings held at Lacey City Hall. Panorama’s President/CEO Mr. DiSanto spoke at most of these meetings to point out the dangers of a higher speed connector to Golf Club Road. He also provided buses to take Panorama residents to the meetings to add their concerns and suggestions to the planners.
The City of Lacey is to be commended on listening to these many voices and showing that government CAN benefit residents. I know we all were impressed that our input was taken to heart. What has been completed now is a surface road with traffic blocks at both ends that are removable for emergencies without being a conduit for huge amounts of traffic through quiet neighborhoods. The Grand Opening recently provided displays of how runoff works and doesn’t work in terms of helping Puget Sound recover from many years of untreated runoff. A model with animals/ waste/dust/ oils on roads, etc. was set up that showed how runoff takes all this material right into storm drains and thus into the Sound. The Storm Water Treatment Facility will hold runoff to settle and avoid carrying it all into Chambers Lake which is our community’s lovely wild area that eventually drains into Puget Sound. Maps of the area for the trails were provided by another display. The use of the paths in a figure eight will provide ½ mile of good footing for a lovely walk.
Some city council folks, LOTT folks, and our administrators were all there to view what has been done and what will be growing there to help our Chambers Lake.
The plantings around the severely dry ponds will grow and provide cover for wild animals and birds. Dog walkers will use litter bags to keep the green areas and paths pristine. Not much can be done with the Canada geese that are leaving waste along walkways, but ponds do attract wildlife. A caution here for use of the area is not to feed wildlife or the fowl that uses it. Canada geese are now finding this group of retention ponds. A stroll out there is very rewarding for many reasons and when the plantings grow, it will be lovely like the LOTT retention ponds out beyond the Target Warehouse north of Lacey. They are havens for wild life and should be maintained that way. I was a bit disconcerted to find a woman throwing out some sort of bagged feed to them when I recently walked the path at our near retention ponds. This will increase their habituation to humans and that isn’t a good thing. The ducklings and goslings were very cute a month ago. However WA Fish and Wildlife remind us that it is not a good thing to feed wild things.
Take the time to sit out at the viewing platform at the ponds. There is a bat house that has been installed over one of the ponds. A nicely placed set of viewing holes/pipes has been installed and makes it easy to spot the bat house. Short for the little people to look thru, mid-height for the larger kids, and then one at adult level. The bats will help keep mosquitoes and gnats handled. This is a thoughtful addition by our water officials.
Celebrating the opening, officially, of this new green area, root beer floats were served at one end of the walkway. Both Panorama and close neighbors enjoyed this late afternoon treat. A cautionary tale for us here at Panorama is enjoying what wildlife we have but certainly don’t encourage them by feeding them. We enjoy what walks by and even the occasional late night raccoon “foofaraw” on our roof. This old golf course we live on certainly was a haven for wild things. Now it is a haven for us.