Through five years and three phases, the Rotary Club of Portage la Prairie has transformed the duck pond in Island Park into a tourist destination.

The club is now on their fourth and final phase of the project, being spearheaded by Cathie McFarlane and Sherri Palmer. The club has already completed the majority of the construction for the pond, meaning phase four will be largely centred around making it more aesthetically pleasing.

Duck pond.

"We've still got more weeding to do, then after that, we've got over 360 plants going in on Friday (May 31) and that will be the extent of our seeding this year," explains McFarlane.

She adds that future planting and watering will be a joint venture between the City of Portage la Prairie and the Portage la Prairie Revitalization Corporation's Green Team.

Palmer believes that if you showed someone a photo of the duck pond in 2019 when the club initially took on the project, and then showed them what it looks like today, they'd be in disbelief.

Natural duck pond.The back of duck pond has been preserved so animals will still have a natural nesting area.

"The pond was always an attraction, even back then, but I can remember grads coming here for pictures and it hadn't been maintained over the years," notes Palmer. "If you look today, I would say it's one of the most scenic spots in the province."

As they continue to put the finishing touches on the duck pond, the recent downpours have received mixed reactions from the club. On one hand, it's nice not to worry too much about watering the plants already there, but it also makes it nearly impossible to plant new ones on some days.

"Everybody is just so appreciative of the work that's gone on here," says McFarlane. "It seems to be a destination point for people to come walk around it, sit, and enjoy the waterfall. It's very relaxing for people."