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The pond at Spring River Zoo will be closed to the public for several months as it is drained and then cleaned of silt and any other materials that have collected on the bottom through the years. It is believed this is the first time in the pond’s long history such a significant cleaning has been undertaken.
The pond closure takes effect Feb. 23, when the draining will be initiated. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will move the pond’s fish to locations outside the zoo and restock the pond with fish at the conclusion of the cleaning work. The cleaning is expected to last until the fall, with the pond possibly reopening in September or October.
The zoo will also be closing the lower parking lot, which has its entrance and exit off North Atkinson Avenue when the cleaning project begins at the adjacent pond. The parking lot closure will be effective Feb. 23.
Plans call for the lower parking lot to remain permanently closed to regular public parking, although it may be used for special events or overflow parking if needed. The public entry and exit point will be at the main parking lot off East College Boulevard. Creating a single access point will enable the Parks Department and zoo to collect more accurate visitor counts that are used in future planning and grant-funding requests.