Lucchesi’s Still & Stagnant Waters…


Petaluma’s Lucchesi Park and Community Center have endured many public indignities over recent years

  • Abandoned shopping carts
  • Graffiti (gang & hate tags)
  • Homeless camps
  • Trash
  • Vandalism

Much of this blight continues to this day as evidenced in these photos taken during the week of July 12…

Composite July 2009 Lucchesi

Fortunately, the good efforts of various volunteers and City staff have helped keep the worst manifestations of our urban blight in check.

Unfortunately, recent cuts in the City Budget necessitated by the ongoing financial crisis have reduced the ability to keep up.  For example, the build up of debris and duck doo doo is becoming quite noticeable…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 033


Graffiti, shopping carts, trash and duck doo doo notwithstanding, there is a far more serious problem lurking beneath the waters in Lucchesi

The fountains in Lucchesi have not been operating for months.  Presumably, they are broken or are not being operated to save money. 

Whatever the reason, the waters are now showing the effects.  Artificial ponds or lakes require aeration and maintenance to keep the algae under control.  The fountains were not merely ornamental. They provided the necessary aeration.

Without the fountains, we are now presented with a large stagnant body of water full of algae…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 001

The consequences are quite visible…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 036Lucchesi July 13 2009 022Lucchesi July 13 2009 009

To see more of the rapid deterioration, view a photo album by Clicking Here When it opens, select the full screen option for the “best” viewing experience.


The budget crisis has set the stage for an unfortunate but inevitable change in Lucchesi

As the stagnation continues, I suspect odors may start wafting off the now dead waters. In a few more months the algae build-up may reach the point where visitors can walk on water.

On a more serious note…

  • Will the pond become a public health hazard? 
  • Is the pond already a public health hazard? 

We are going to have to come to terms with what to do about the pond.  If there is no money to run the fountains and to maintain the pond, then I am afraid it is time to do what some have wanted for a long time—drain it.

Doing nothing is no longer an option…


For an update on the status of the fountains, Click Here.


13 thoughts on “Lucchesi’s Still & Stagnant Waters…

  1. Drain the swamp! How perfectly awful. The pond is filthy and getting worse by the day. The current heat wave will only add to the deterioration, as well as hasten it. As the algae grows, it will deplete oxygen, and kill whatever aquatic critters now live in the pond.

    • My husband, (Larry Torres) talked to Scott Broudin about the lake. The pumps are not running because they are broken. They just got the new ones in last week and are waiting for the contractor to install them, should be soon. Then the aridators?? will be running also and that should clean it up. The duck doo doo is hosed off 2 times a week and the Mosquito Vector guys were out and treated the lake so it won’t get mosquitoes. That should address the health issues. Even with the budget cuts they are doing a good job, it just takes a little longer to get the job done. Diane

  2. Talk about a picture worth a thousand words, those pictures of yours were quite telling. What a mess to have within our once fair city. Can anything be done to correct this deplorable situation?

  3. The Mayor proposed filling it in with dirt a year ago and got shouted down. So let he who did the loudest shouting figure it out. We’re just thankful the smell isn’t being blamed on the Viceroy’s socks…cause let us tell you, you don’t wanna be around after one of his bike rides. We don’t think this is what the environmentalists had in mind when they talked about “going green” but we could be wrong. Mr. Simpson, we suspect you can see far enough into the future to see the day that Petaluma will wish a rotting pond were its worst problem.

    • I do remember that there was some discussion in the past about filling it in but could not remember the source. Whatever the pros & cons of that discussion might have been, I don’t think there are any options remaining. Just for the record, I have always liked the pond AND fountains. But if we can’t maintain it, it’s time to pull the plug.

  4. This pond needs several efforts to bring it back to life. First, nutrient loading from waterfowl, runoff, and landscaping must be limited. The shallow areas need to be dredged to limit the pond bottom areas exposed to or ideally prevented. The shallow areas of the pond need to be dredged to limit sunlight and consequent overabundant aquatic vegetation issues. Last, a well designed, bottom laid aeration system that generates complete pond turnover several times per day shold be employed to promote high levels of water oxygen. Water fountains make very inefficient aeration. They tend to be great at increasing evaporation, however. All these factors must be explored to bring the pond back from the brink. Control of the physical, chemical, and biological functions will allow the pond to work effectively and restore the severely damaged aethetics. Otherwise, fill it in!

    • Thank you for your comment. I have directed it to “The Powers That Be” for their consideration.

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