Duckweed in Westinghouse Pond

If you follow the Parks Conservancy’s Instagram page, you may have seen a series of videos following our Horticulture and Forestry (H&F) team combating duckweed growing on the Westinghouse Memorial Pond in Schenley Park. 

Duckweed is a common aquatic weed that sits on the top of the pond and reproduces every 24 hours. Because it grows so fast, it’s very difficult to completely remove. The H&F team has been trying different methods to eliminate or manage the weed, but the process of finding a more permanent solution is ongoing. So far, they have been trying manual solutions, as you can see in the video of our Horticulture project manager Jaci Bruschi wading in and skimming the duck weed off of the top of the pond. Currently, their goal is to keep the pond clear without resorting to chemical treatment and potentially damaging the native plants and animals in the area.

Despite the challenges, the H&F team has made great progress in their efforts! As Jaci discusses in the second installment, they were able to make a dent in the weed’s growth, as well as unclog one of the pond’s overflow pipes. This pipe helps to divert water from the side of the pond to keep the water level from overflowing and should be helpful in their continued work to clean the pond. 

The team addressing the duck weed has grown significantly since the first video we posted (even including Manager of Visitor Experience Kenny Slaughter) and H&F is doing everything in their power to reclaim Westinghouse Pond’s as a weed-free, beautiful landmark and diverse habitat. Their work wouldn’t be possible without the generous donation of waders from Public Lands, which allowed the H&F team to manually skim the weed from the pond.