Residents around the new pond call for a ban on events

On Wednesday, geese paddle along the surface of Mountain View Pond in Gardnerville.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

About 50 people have signed a petition asking the Gardnerville City Council to ban special events or activities that generate noise for the next two years on the pond at Mountain View Nature Park.

Gardnerville City Council members are due to discuss the petition at 4:30 p.m. on July 5.

City manager Erik Nilssen pointed out that the pond did not exist until the winter of 2018 when it was excavated.

The petition follows further work on the pond that took place in December 2021 to complete the pond to its current size.

“A separate project to improve open space by providing a 2.5-mile multi-modal trail was recently completed,” Nilssen wrote in his report. “This trail, which runs along the pond, is attracting more residents to the area than the one that previously used the open space.”

Nilssen stressed that the park is an urban park and not a protected wildlife refuge area.

“The goal of the urban park is to provide recreation opportunities for city residents, but it does not prioritize wilderness over access or amenities.”

As part of an open space master plan for park improvements, the area will remain in its semi-natural state, but the plan also encourages users.

Nilssen asked which special events could be subject to the ban if approved by the city council.

It has the power to hold events for up to 250 people without amplified music or alcohol, but anything beyond that would require action by the city council. Any event of 500 or more people must obtain an outdoor festival permit, which must be approved by the city council and county commissioners.

In the four years of the pond’s existence, no special events have been offered and it has not been used for commercial purposes. Nilssen does not anticipate frequent or intrusive events anytime soon.

What it foresees is the possibility that at some point residents will find themselves looking to hunt waterfowl.

“Other areas of Douglas County, such as Lampe Park and Winhaven, are saturated with waterfowl to the point of interfering with park use due to droppings,” he said. “Going forward, the discussion may be about how to encourage waterfowl to move, not how to attract more to the area.”

The only scheduled event that will end is the Martin Slough Trail Grand Opening scheduled for August 20 which will begin at Seeman Pond in Minden and end at Heritage Park. The event has already been approved by the city council.

One proposal for the pond is to stock it, which would attract fishermen. The Nevada Wildlife Division told Nilssen it was excited to add the pond to the list of urban fisheries.

On Wednesday, the banks of the pond were covered in scattered low brush with a few trees that were planted Arbor Day 2021 by Boy and Girl Scouts.

Pond landscaping would eventually include mature trees and an entrance to Snaffle Bit.

Joseph K. Bennett