Shown is a rendering of what Kelly Pond may look like once it is improved. Rendering provided.
Shown is a rendering of what Kelly Pond may look like once it is improved. Rendering provided.
Residents may remember casting a fishing line at Kelly Park pond or snagging a bite from a bluegill or smallmouth bass and reeling it in.

Back in the ’90s, this small 1-acre pond was a recreational fishing spot for Warsaw residents. But over time, the pond filled with sediment and nutrients, negatively impacting the pond’s health, according to a news release from the city of Warsaw. Now, the fish population and diversity is low due to the lack of water depth and oxygen. What once was fished by many is now a sediment pond.

The cause? Stormwater runoff, sedimentation and nutrients.

Through partnerships and extensive studies, the city of Warsaw is confident in their plan to improve and preserve the Kelly Park pond, the release states.

The Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College assessed Kelly Pond in 2015 and in 2019, and their research team found a good opportunity for improvement.  

"We are excited that the city of Warsaw Stormwater Utility is working to improve the drainage area around the pond as well as the pond itself," said Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams.  "This will be a great asset for our community."

A stormwater project will begin in May, coordinated by Warsaw Stormwater Utility. To protect the pond from stormwater runoff, sedimentation and nutrients, the project will reroute storm lines, remove pond inlets and outlets, and establish a strong natural shoreline. Along with this, improvements like increasing pond depth, utilizing aerators, installing a fishing pier and fish stocking are planned.

“This project illustrates the critical importance of understanding the science to solve a problem that will benefit the environment and the community,” said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer. “The added value is the recreational impact this project will have on the neighborhood.”