Pete's Pond is a 4.5-acre parcel of land, with a 1.5-acre wetland, located on the southern edge of La Grande and acquired by the Conservancy in 2015. Thanks to a grant (The Penstemon Fund) administered by Oregon Community Foundation, Pete's Pond now plays an integral role in our mission to protect open, natural lands from development, enhance wildlife habitat, and to provide an accessible location for environmental education.
Remnants of an apple orchard remain on the property near two late 19th century houses suggests a homestead or early residence may have been here. The old trees still provide an autumn food source for resident mule deer and migratory water fowl. The pond was dug by a previous owner in the 1940s as a swimming hole for his children. Today Pete's Pond offers wetland habitat to Great Blue Heron, Pacific Tree frogs, Great Horned Owl, Mule Deer, migratory water fowl, and many more animals.
Located within one mile of La Grande High, La Grande Middle, and Central Elementary Schools, Pete's Pond offers a close accessible quiet spot away from traffic and other city noise, where it's possible to observe native wildlife and enjoy the sights and smells of the apple trees in bloom and bright blue Camas flowers in spring. Pete's Pond has given us the ability to host multiple educational opportunities for the community, including a public bat night, an outdoor space for Cub Scouts to gather, and together in partnership with Art Center East, La Grande Parks and Rec, and Caretakers of the Land we've hosted an after school program for middle school youth and numerous Wild School classes for preschoolers through 5th graders.
We are also working hard to eradicate noxious weeds and replace them with native, riparian trees and shrubs. Together with community volunteers, students, and cub scouts we have already planted over 50 native trees and shrubs and helped to protect existing Camas plants on site.
Contact us for more information about how YOU can get involved in Pete's Pond.