Knoxville Parks & Recreation Director Joe Walsh said work to construct an algae-reducing wetland at Fountain City Lake will begin July 18. We spoke with Walsh just after a pre-construction meeting at the lake July 17, with Ronald Franks Construction, the company that won the wetland bid.
The company will first drain the lake, then put up signage and orange fencing around the area. As water continues to fill the spring-fed lake, it will be pumped downstream into First Creek with permission from TDEC.
Work will continue through November 14, with more than 100 truckloads of rock being brought in to create the wetland area at the north end of the lake. Native wetland plants will go in throughout the fall.
Walsh said the lake will be mostly empty for the rest of the summer and fall, and the wetland will probably not achieve natural beauty until this time next year.
“It’s going to be a highly visible project,” said Walsh. “We’re excited about this project. This is another way to make (Fountain City Lake) more of an environmentally friendly asset. We hope everyone enjoys it and continues to come out and treat it like a park, which is what it is.”
But what about those ducks?
“The ducks are wild animals. There are no plans to relocate the ducks. I guess if they want to hang around there, or they’ll find another pleasant place to hang out by the water,” said Walsh.