RRC Friends group quits fund drive to fill pond

       What a difference a few heavy rainfalls can make.

After heavy summer rains, the pond near the pavilion at Red Rock Canyon Open Space (the level of which had been receding for years) was once again full to the brim, as shown in this photo taken in mid-September.
Westside Pioneer photo

       A year ago, filling the nearly empty pond at Red Rock Canyon Open Space seemed like an idea whose time had come.
       After more than a decade that included several drought years, the man-made body of water near Red Rock's pavilion had dropped from a nearly full state in the late 1990s to an estimated third of that depth.
       So in 2012 the Friends of Red Rock Canyon started a $100,000 fundraising campaign - to be matched with thirty to forty thousand in city funds - for a permanent water line to the pond, along with a liner to limit ground seepage and a hydrant for fire trucks.
       But the rains of last August and September, augmented by runoff from Red Rock's uphill canyons, filled the pond back up, to the point that it was overflowing its spillway into the pond below.
       In response, the Friends group sent out the following press release this week:
       “Due to the fact that the pond near the pavilion is now completely full and will stay near full for a while, the board of directors has suspended the fund drive for the pond rebuild. The money raised so far for the pond rehabilitation will be kept in a dedicated fund for the ongoing improvement and maintenance of the pavilion pond. The Friends of Red Rock Canyon want to thank all who donated and promise that their contribution will be used to maintain the pond as an important part of our open space… Thank you for your past support!”

Westside Pioneer/press release