Friends of DeCoursey Park are encouraging Puyallup School District students in junior high and high school to help get the word out about the contamination of Clark’s Creek and DeCoursey Pond.
Laurie Larson, Washington Storm Water Center program specialist at the Washington State University Research and Extension Center, said DeCoursey Pond has been identified as a source of fecal coliform.
“And we need to look no further than our feathered friends,” Larson said.
The goal is to develop water foul-lowering strategies and change human behavior, such as feeding the ducks, she said.
“There are too many ducks for the size of the pond, and their main source of food is from the public,” Larson said.
A contest will be held to come up with a creative way to post two signs, one from a junior high student and one from a high school student, at DeCoursey Park to spell out the dangers of hauling bags of bread to the park and feeding the ducks. Entries will be accepted through March 7.
From 9 a.m. to noon March 9, a restoration planting will take place in the park. During that time, the public and judges can view the entries, which will be posted throughout the park. The judges will make their decision at a later date, and the winners will be displayed in DeCoursey Park.
“This is a great opportunity for young people to learn how effective they can be, and that they have the opportunity to empower and inspire,” Larson said.
The contest is open to any junior high or high school student who lives within the Puyallup School District, even if they attend a private school. For more information about the contest, visit www.facebook.com/FriendsofDecourseyPark, or www.cityofpuyallup.org.
Larson sees it as an opportunity for students to learn about restoration and preservation of natural resources.
“They are disappearing, and so we have to protect what we have,” she said. “This is a wonderful education opportunity for them and is very broad-based.”
For students who don’t feel they are artistic, Larson said the use of words can be significant as well.
She said the contest is about communicating a message to the public to discourage feeding the ducks.Joan Cronk is a freelance reporter for the Herald.