Bethany Freudenthal, Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 3:51 p.m. MT May 29, 2019 | Updated 4:49 p.m. MT May 29, 2019
LAS CRUCES – The Young Park pond was expected to be restocked with fish on Wednesday, May 29, but due to suspected vandalism, area residents will have to wait just a little bit longer to go fishing.
The Las Cruces Police Department reports the drain on the southwest section of the pond was damaged and a pipe was loosened during the Memorial Day weekend, causing a leak.
In order to repair the damage, maintenance personnel will have to lower the pond’s water level, and then refill it with fresh water, which could harm fish.
Expect repairs to be completed in about 10 days and the pond to be restocked with fish by mid-June.
City officials have not yet returned calls seeking information the cost of the repairs.
Anyone with information on who may be responsible for the vandalism is asked to contact Las Cruces police at 575-526-0795.
The pond at Young Park was refilled with water only recently.
The Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Department closed the pond the week of Jan. 28 to remove debris, sediment and build up, install a new aeration system and make other necessary repairs to the pond. The fish, turtles and ducks who called the pond home were relocated during the renovation.
The pond was partially drained May 18 to ensure repairs were successful and was refilled on Monday, May 20.
By mid-afternoon Wednesday, Young Park was brimming with activity.
Children were happily playing on the park’s playground equipment, the elderly were using the park’s paved walkways to get their daily exercise, and young professionals were enjoying their lunch hour by the pond.
Anthony resident Mario Lugo, who works in Las Cruces, said he comes to the park’s pond on his lunch hour most days, because it’s relaxing.
The vandalism “sucks,” he said.
“It’s an enjoyable scenery and to see people vandalizing, it doesn’t make Las Cruces look good,” he said.
Blas Valenzuela, who was at the park with his daughter and two grandchildren, McKayla, 6 and Isabella, 2, said it makes him sad.
“There’s not a lot of activity going on in Cruces,” he said, and his daughter Stephanie Valenzuela agreed.
“We have so little things here, and the beautiful things we have here, the people who want to mess it up, mess it up for everybody else. It’s sad, the kids who come here with their families can’t enjoy it,” she said.
Friends Tristen Baldwin and Macy Chaves, both 12, said they often come to Young Park because its peaceful.
Baldwin said it’s upsetting to hear of the vandalism.
“It’s good to get away from family, sometimes. it’s a peaceful place to go, to meet people, and stuff like that,” he said.
The pond, Chaves said, is nice to look at.
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