News | Environment | local

Bend Residents Reflecting On What To Do With Mirror Pond

OPB | June 3, 2013 6:03 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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Bend residents will soon have the opportunity to comment at public meetings on what do about decades of sediment built up in the city’s iconic Mirror Pond.

Bend's Mirror Pond from Drake Park

Bend's Mirror Pond from Drake Park

David Nogueras / OPB

Mirror Pond really isn’t a pond at all.  It’s a slow-moving water impoundment of the Deschutes River — created as a by-product of a century-old hydroelectric dam that was built just downstream. 

But as the water slows it deposits silt.  Jim Figurski is the project manager for what’s known as the Mirror Pond Visioning Study.  He says the silt degrades water quality.

“It’s also an image issue. Mirror Pond is on the City of Bend seal. Mirror Pond is on the label of Deschutes Brewery’s Mirror Pond Ale.  Many people associate their life in Bend and the quality of life with Mirror Pond.  So it’s an emotional issue.  It’s an economic issue.  It’s a recreational issue.  It’s an environmental issue.”

One option is to do nothing. Other options being considered range from dredging to actually removing the dam that creates Mirror Pond.

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