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A few days left to pitch a new name for the Ballston Beaver Pond

Ballston Beaver Pond is in need of a new name because, well, there are no more beavers.

An online survey to rename Ballston Beaver Pond is set to close on Wednesday, June 1, as renovations at the pond are on hold due to a delay in material delivery.

Residents are asked to suggest names for the pond that either “reflect a park’s unique character and features” or one that “honors someone who made a significant and positive impact to Arlington County,” the survey says. Prior to the renovation, the pond was home to a variety of wildlife, including beavers. But the county is installing beaver baffles to discourage them from returning and building dams again.

The survey says residents will also be able to weigh in on a list of potential park names, compiled at least in part from the survey, in June. Aileen Winquist, the communication manager for the renovation project, said the final name is set to be presented to the Arlington County Board in September.

Renovations at the Ballston pond, which include converting it from a dry pond to a wetland, are paused because of a delay in the delivery of a concrete block that will be installed in the upper part of the pond, according to the project’s website. Winquist said the block is expected to arrive in mid-June.

“That’s kind of the last grading work that will need to be done,” she said. Much of the excavation and grading work was completed in April.

“The contractor has made excellent progress so far and the project is on schedule,” she said. The renovations are expected to wrap up in July 2023.

After installing the concrete block, which Winquist said would be a settling area for sediment and trash from water coming into the pond, renovations will continue with building viewing platforms and planting vegetation.

“The remaining work will be to install the platform — there’s a viewing platform on the east side of the pond — and then to do all the planting,” she said, adding “thousands of plants will be planted in the pond.”

The renovation process faced a series of interruptions before it began in December 2021. The project was planned, but in a holding pattern, between 2013 and 2019. It went into hiatus soon after the redesigned project went public in 2019 due to “COVID-19 and related budget concerns,” according to a county report in June 2021.

The current renovation project is a “high-priority project” in the county’s Stormwater Management Program and “contributes to restoring the Chesapeake Bay,” according to the project’s website.

Other renovation measures listed include constructing turtle basking stations and other wildlife components, planting wetland vegetation, and removing invasive species. The design plan for the project also includes spaces for a shrub wetland and a marsh.

The pond was initially built as a dry pond, which she said meant stormwater runoff from I-66 would temporarily sit in the pond area. That changed after the beavers arrived and built their dams. The renovations, meanwhile, aim to convert the pond into a wetland.

“The pond will have a lot of flow channels for the water to flow through, and as it’s filtered through the wetland plants and soils, that will remove pollutants from the stormwater runoff,” Winquist said.

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