GET TO KNOW YOUR GREENWAY: OVERLAND POND PARK
By: JJ Clark
SPREE Staff Writer
Take a fishing pole and a picnic to enjoy a day out at Overland Pond Park this month. Overland Pond Park offers an escape from the city without ever leaving it.
Along with the pond itself, the banks are lush with native plants and signs of animal life. Blue Grama (Colorado’s state grass) is abundant and evidence of recent beaver activity marks many of the cottonwood trees around the pond. The pond is home to rainbow trout, carp, blue gill, and other species of fish. Cormorants, herons, and egrets often feed at the pond and turtles and frogs have been spotted here as well.
Overland Pond is a reclaimed gravel mining pit that was redesigned as a learning park along the banks of the South Platte River. The native plantings are a reminder of what the Colorado prairie might have looked like before human activity. Serving as a habitat sanctuary for migratory birds and other South Platte River fauna, trees that fall are left down to provide homes for small animals and nutrients for future pond life.
In addition to being the home for the 5th grade excursion program, Overland Pond is also the host to the Family Fishing Day Water Festival programs each year. Fishing for Kids programming is provided for SPREE Schools through a partnership with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and ELK (Environmental Learning for Kids). For this free educational fishing event, the pond is stocked with rainbow trout, and the students are taught basic casting, fish anatomy, pond ecology, and fish identification and handling lessons. Students enjoy a day of catch and release fishing and get to keep their fishing pole at the end of the day.