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Neighbors concerned about future of Leeper Park duck pond

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

Leeper Park’s duck pond could soon be a thing of the past, and some frequent visitors are worried.

The change would come as the park gets a makeover over the next few years.

Sarah Hunter takes her two-year-old son, Sebastian, to the duck pond which she visited at his age.

“I have memories from when my mom and uncles and dad would bring me here so it is kind of special,” Hunter said.

Soon, the entire pond could soon be just a memory, as South Bend Venues Parks and Arts hopes to remove it as part of its Riverfront Parks and Trails project.

“Is kind of something that would be sad, you know, to see go,” Hunter said.

Dozens of other neighbors feel the same way and have voiced their complaints.

However, South Bend Venues, Parks and Arts says the pond has become far too unsanitary for the ducks and visitors.

While the pond is in jeopardy, an older landmark could be brought to the park.

A separate group is working to restore the 1906 Studebaker fountain that sat at Howard Park until 1942.

Vickie McIntire is leading the fundraising charge.

If successful, the parks department has promised McIntire the fountain could be put in Leeper Park.

Regardless, Venues, Parks and Arts still wishes to remove the duck pond.

“One has nothing to do with the other, and the fountain won’t be where the duck pond is,” McIntire said.

McIntire hopes if the duck pond is removed, families like can flock to the fountain for new memories.

Parks promises they won’t kill off any animals if the pond is removed.

The Leeper Park plan will be presented to the Board of Parks on June 27.

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