The fish pond on campus is one of my favourite spots to hang out at. It’s a great place to visit and offers a quiet place to read, chill, or just take a nap. When I walked by last month, I was shocked and disheartened to see dirty water and no fish.
Every summer, the pond would be teaming with over two dozen koi and goldfish. Vibrant flowers surrounding the pond made it a highlight of the campus, cherished by students. Normally, the fish would be taken into an internal tank when the temperature started to drop in autumn. As the fish population grew, the indoor space ran out and heaters were installed to keep the pond warm and comfortable for the fish during the winter months. This past January, the heater broke, causing the water to freeze over and the fish to die.
University officials are currently reviewing whether or not to keep this program going. Areas of concern include the cost to replace the fish, the labour to renovate the pond and fix the heaters, and the investment into long-term monitoring equipment to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.
I understand the university’s concerns about the cost and maintenance this project would require, but I think it would be worth it. Our campus is an integration of modern architecture and the nature surrounding it. I love being on campus during the summer months and the pond is a big part of what makes the space lively and attractive.
Pond renovations would also maintain the diversity of wildlife that we share our campus with; campus’ plants and animals make the university full of life and offer a quiet respite from the cold dark classrooms of Tory. I love seeing the rabbits on campus and although I avoid running into them, it’s also nice to see the Canadian geese from time to time. In the middle of winter, when most days are grey and dreary, the fish pond remains a fun spot for us to enjoy.
Many students enjoyed the fish pond and have had memorable moments at the serene spot. Some of the fish in the pond were donated to the university, so the renovation would honour the donation that was made. It would be a show of good faith and say that the university values and appreciates the gift. It would show dedication from the university, especially in the light of recent events in the Biological Sciences Aquatics Facility in which a similar power failure caused over 9000 fish and frogs to die. These animals were for use in research and teaching, and the incident has impacted many students and university research labs. By choosing to continue the fish pond program, the university would show that we value the diversity of life that our campus is home to, and are dedicated to protecting it.
The fish pond isn’t just a sanctuary for the koi and goldfish that inhabit it, it’s a place where students can unwind, relax, and enjoy the natural beauty of our diverse campus.