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Editorial: Changes at Schwarz Pond are dramatic

The new look of Schwarz Pond is going to take some getting used to.

There's a whole lot more of it to see, for one thing. Gone is a thick screen of trees that once stood between the water and the nearby athletic fields. Those trees that used to hide much of the pond and a narrow foot bridge have been reduced to piles of wood chips. The pond is fully in view, bright and blue and still largely covered by ice and snow under an early spring sun.

The view isn't necessarily better, at least in an aesthetic sense. It isn't necessarily worse. But it's certainly different. Dramatically different.

There is a new, smaller pond, too. A wetland created by crews working for SKB Environmental. The company, which recently expanded its landfill operation on the city's east side, needed to restore a certain amount of wetland to replace some it was destroying as part of its growth. It couldn't do the work on its property, so it turned to Schwarz Pond.

It's not really fair to judge the work just yet. Those piles of wood chips are still cluttering the view. The grasses we assume will eventually line the wetlands are still absent. Everything is brown and dreary and surrounded by orange silt fences put in place to keep dirt from running into the pond.

There is more work to do, too. SKB will add a fishing pier to the pond, and a proper paved path to replace the rutted dirt foot path that baseball fans have worn into a hill between the Schwarz Pond Park parking lot and the RHS baseball field. That will be a good addition for baseball fans.

In the long run, we expect the amenities will be a worthwhile addition to the park.

For now, though, it's a bit of an adjustment.