Toxic Concrete Creek

concrete creek park garden
Concrete Creek (2014) Olympus OM-D E-M10 + M.Zuiko 40-150mm 40mm@F4

This creek was artificially constructed with a concrete bed, regular cobblestones used for sidewalks and a couple of boulders. Behind me is a bigger boulder with sprouts which acts like a sort of fountain. The creek empties into the small artificial pond in the background. The water fountain gets water from the pond so it is a closed cycle. More interesting than the construction is the use of this creek.

In summer many families will set up blankets and picnics on the adjacent grass while their kids play around in the water. It is mostly very small kids, toddler to preschool, who splash around the water usually naked in line with the liberal values of the eco-friendly but gentrified population who frequents this park. And here is where the idyllic picture of kids and families having a nice day at the creek breaks down (apart from the whole artificiality of it).

The water for the creek circulates from the pond below. But the pond itself does not regenerate its own water. The pond is connected to the communal water supply so the city could pump fresh water into the pond and collect the dirty overflow through the drainage system. But that costs money and the local city council responsible for this park is chronically short on money. So they essentially pump the same water through the creek over and over again, the only fresh water being the occasional rain fall and whatever water is need to offset evaporation.

The pond is home to a flock of ducks and especially the little ducklings are quite the favorite with kids. Unfortunately many people think it is good idea to feed the ducks with bread and other human foods. Not only is this unhealthy for the ducks themselves the food that falls down to the bottom leads to algae and bacterial growth. This can and will deplete oxygen in a body of water making it a dead zone for other life. The pond becomes essentially a cesspool of algae, bacteria, food remnants and duck droppings. And this water gets cycled through the creek over and over again.

During summer the pond acquires a strong and pungent smell that personally makes not want to sit at one of the benches nearby. Especially when they let the fountain run, the smelly water gets sprayed into the air spreading the bad smell everywhere. It is ironic that many of the educated people who go to great lengths to wash and recycle their trash are unable to grasp, why they should not feed the ducks because it destroys their little local ecosystem. They also let their children play around naked in the mucky, smelly and infested water that gets worse and worse over the summer. That is why I call it the toxic concrete creek.

Also the creek attracts a certain kind of creepy men. Mostly middle aged, badly dressed, unattractive who sit near the creek looking at and sometimes even taking pictures of the kids. Creepy…very very creepy.

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