News

Bayview steps back in time

Employees of J & D Wallace General Contractors create a large hole at the Bayview corner, near Whidbey Telephone Company and Highway 525, which will soon be a stormwater detention and wildlife pond. - Jennifer Conway / staff photo
Employees of J & D Wallace General Contractors create a large hole at the Bayview corner, near Whidbey Telephone Company and Highway 525, which will soon be a stormwater detention and wildlife pond.
— image credit: Jennifer Conway / staff photo

Once upon a time, the land known now as Bayview Corner had wetlands. Within a month, it will have one again.

This week, Linda Moore, executive vice president of the Goosefoot Community Fund, said construction of the stormwater detention and wildlife pond is a part of the organization’s growth management plan.

Moore said by creating a natural habitat pond, stormwater for approximately 25 acres will be treated naturally, and eventually released into Useless Bay.

“We wanted to use it as an opportunity to restore those wetlands,” she said.

Whidbey Island’s aquifer is shrinking, Moore claimed in an interview last week. In an effort to preserve the island’s water resources, Goosefoot uses less water through sustainable practices. To maintain the second part of their commitment, Goosefoot plans to return water to the environment cleaner than when it drains off roads and onto the land at Bayview Corner.

Water will take one of two routes to the pond. The project’s contractor, J & D Wallace General Contractors of Langley, began excavating the sight last week. Groundwater immediately began seeping to the surface, water that will be drained away by a type of sump pump until the contractor and Goosefoot are ready for it to return to its natural course.

Stormwater will be collected in catch basins, which will filter trash, sediment, oil and grease before the water drains through pipes down to the pond. Once in the pond, wetland plants and the pond itself will remove pollutants by sedimentation, filtration, soil absorption and plant uptake.

The pond will vary in depth from shallow and vegetated on the perimeter, to approximately 7 feet deep. An outfall pipe will release water from the pond when needed, draining under Highway 525 into a marsh adjacent to Useless Bay.

Water will always be in the pond, Moore said, and plants and animals will slowly be introduced to the mini-ecosystem as it matures.

One of the biggest concerns for the pond is the possibility of it becoming a mosquito breeding ground. Moore said Goosefoot has a mosquito abatement plan that uses six methods of eradicating mosquitoes. Insect-eating fish, crustaceans that eat mosquito larvae, water circulation to keep the water moving, tadpoles, bats and a bacteria insecticide will work together to keep mosquitoes to a minimum, she said.

The pond will manage stormwater for Bayview Farm & Garden, the Bayview Cash Store, the Bayview Community Hall, the Sears house and Goosefoot’s offices up the hill from the community hall. Moore said it was also designed to handle Whidbey Telephone Company’s stormwater, should the company choose to connect in the future. The pond could also handle runoff from future development at Bayview Corner.

The grass berms surrounding the pond will be designed to provide seating for outdoor events or concerts. Moore said she expects the pond to be functioning within a month with water in it. It will take another eight to 10 months before the vegetation is fully planted and established.

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