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Posted on: December 15, 2023

Duck pond reopens in Riverside Park

A gazebo overlook with railing lined by Christmas garland and surrounded by planter boxes

PHOTO #1: The renovated Riverside Park duck pond features a spacious gazebo overlook surrounded by a decorative planter box.

PHOTO #2: The renovated Riverside Park duck pond includes a boardwalk with safety railings.

A beloved Riverside Park icon is open to the public once again.

A wooden boardwalk over the edge of the duck pondThe newly reopened Riverside Park duck pond features a few upgrades, including seating along the edge of the pond, decorative water fountains with LED lighting, a floating fishing pier and a gazebo overlook with a planter box and waterfall.

The duck pond had been closed since late 2018 because of structural damage that was caused by erosion and worsened by Hurricane Harvey. The updated pond includes design changes that will help to prevent erosion, such as the new retaining wall, the relocation of the gazebo and the merging of two separate water bodies into one pond.

Gone fishin’

A fishing pier featuring a gentle slope down to a railed areaPHOTO #3: The renovated Riverside Park duck pond features a floating fishing pier. Fishing is currently prohibited while the pond is being stocked.

The City of Victoria Parks & Recreation is partnering with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to stock the pond with fish. The stocking process began in October of this year and will continue through the spring.

Fishing is not allowed at the duck pond at this time. Hopeful anglers must wait until the stocking is finished and the fish have had time to grow, which will take approximately 6-8 months.

The long path to the duck pond

PHOTO #4: The renovated Riverside Park duck pond features a retaining wall to prevent erosion. Erosion was a key component of the damage that forced the pond to close in 2018.

Duck pond surrounded by a winding concrete path with a concrete retaining wall belowWhen the City Council first awarded a contract to repair the duck pond sidewalk in 2018, the repair process was expected to take no more than four months.

However, after crews drained the pond, they discovered extensive damage that required a more thorough rebuilding.

To help offset the cost, the City pursued and was awarded a $621,000 grant from Texas Parks & Wildlife. The grant process contributed to project delays, and once the City began seeking bids and negotiating contracts, complications related to inflation delayed the project further.

Construction began in September 2022. The construction process lasted 15 months.

What’s next

Two geese float in the duck pond near a decorative fountainPHOTO #5: The renovated Riverside Park duck pond is open to the public.

The City will host a public ribbon-cutting ceremony for the duck pond in early 2024 as part of Victoria’s bicentennial celebration. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

For more information about Parks & Recreation programs and facilities, visit www.victoriatx.gov/parks

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