The "Friends of the Duck Pond" is a volunteer project founded in 1983 by staff of the OU Police Department. A strong sense of "community" is important in law enforcement and we're proud of the role many of our officers have played in establishing, leading, and working in this community volunteer project.
The purpose of the project was to use volunteer labor, donations of money and materials, and loans of construction equipment to renovate the forty acre "Duck Pond" area of the OU Norman Campus into a well-maintained park area.
Begun at a time when the University and state had significant funding problems, we were not able to use normal University fundraising resources to help with the project, and had to make it an entirely volunteer effort from top to bottom.
Through two and a half years of intense volunteer efforts we were able to complete the "anniversary" phase of the
renovation through the help of over 700 volunteer workers and hundreds of donors. The initial project involved approximately 7,000 hours of voluteer time and $250,000 in the form of donations of money, materials, and heavy equipment-time loans from local companies.
One of the major aspects of the initial project involved draining the two ponds and dredging out fifty years of accumulated silt.
Over 2500 hours of equipment-operator time was donated by OU employees and local construction companies, involving backhoes, dump trucks, bulldozers, scrapers, a large dragline crane and other equipment.
Some of the companies had loaned-equipment on-site continuously at the park for over TWO YEARS. Approximately 225,000 TONS of earth was moved during the project. The 1983-1985 effort was one of the largest single totally volunteer efforts in Oklahoma history.
Volunteers came in many shapes and sizes, from students, parents and children doing simple clean up chores to volunteer electricians, plumbers, carpenters, Stone masons, mechanics, equipment operators, graphic artists, fish and game experts, animal caretakers, zoologists and botanists - a project that involved volunteers from all parts of the university community: individual students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other area residents, as well as groups and companies from on and off campus.
An example of some of our more "unusual" volunteers include members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol bomb squads from around the state who help blow up a problem "dam" at the park - our very own "dam-busters".
Fundraising efforts included a booth at the OU Medieval Fair which is held annually each spring in the park where we've exchanged t-shirts, ball-caps, posters, and even balled-cypress seedlings for donations.
"How Can I Help?"
If you are interested in volunteering specialized skills, or equipment, materials or other help you'd like to donate to help in the project, contact:
Richard Hamilton, OUPD Webmaster
(FOTDP Project Coordinator and "Head Duck")
If you'd like to help with care of the ducks and geese at the park, or are interested in donating specialty fish and waterfowl, such as canadian geese and wood ducks, contact:
Fred Dittmar, Supervisor, OU Laboratory Animal Facilities
If you're interested in making a financial donation to the projects at the park, you can contact the OU Foundation, Inc. at,
OU Foundation, Inc.
100 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
Please specify "Duck Pond Project" with any contact/correspondence or on any check.
Thanks for caring!
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Sponsor: OU Police Department — Developer: Richard M. Hamilton, OUPD