south Tempe family’s two-year effort
to prevent baby ducks from drowning
in the reflecting pool at ASU
Research Park appears to have become
a full-blown battle between the
family and park management.
says the issue reached crisis
proportion when research-park staff
began removing the makeshift exit
ramps her husband had been
installing for months along the edge
of the pool.
Although it has been a problem only
during the season when mother ducks
give birth to new babies, the
ducklings’ inability to escape the
water results in their inevitable
death, says Cunningham.
family noticed the babies’ plight
two years ago and talked with ASU
Research Park management about
installing some sort of escape
mechanism—a concrete ramp or cinder
blocks in the water.
was a no-brainer,” she said.
is ASU, after all, and they have an
entire engineering department; they
should be able to figure something
nothing happened and duckling season
returned this year, Cunningham says
her husband again installed wooden
ramps along the water’s edge.
Within days, however, the ramps had
ran to Home Depot again and replaced
them,” she said.
Again, the ramps were removed.
Cunningham says she called Judy Page
at the Research Park management
office and suggested that if they
didn’t like the ramps, maybe they’d
consider some sort of concrete
inclines or blocks sunk in the
said, well, anything you put into
the fountain damages its integrity,”
suggesting nothing could be done.
Cunningham says she asked about
raising the level of the water, but
was told the fountain had been
“engineered in a certain way” and
could not be altered.
breaks my heart,” said Cunningham,
vowing she’s just begun to fight.