When SFA is brought up in conversation, one of the main landmarks the school is known for is the Ag Pond. Being the only other water landmark on campus besides Lanana Creek, the Ag Pond has been a space for celebration, remembrance and peace for generations of SFA students. The pond is set in front of the Hall 20 dorms with a cascading fountain that adds to its charm.
Despite this, maybe something can be done to tidy it enough that students do not have to gag when they pass by it. Maybe sometime soon, the Ag Pond can once again be a landmark that we take pride in. Hopefully, students and others who visit the pond in the near future will at the very least consider no longer littering there.
None of my friends (the few that I have) said, “Let’s go hang out by the Ag Pond.” No teacher that I remember has brought it up as being a place to visit. On the contrary, the context that I recently heard about it in was about how gross it is and how bad it smells. Apparently, something in its legacy has gone wrong up until now.
While searching around Google about the Ag Pond, I found that this was not the first mention of how it has gone downhill. There have been two accounts in recent years in The Daily Sentinel, Nacogdoches’ own local newspaper, that chronicled the fall of the Ag Pond. A photograph titled, “Ag Pond Trash,” that was taken in 2010 shows the landmark with a frothy, green film covering the water with a nice touch of trash (i.e. a paper cup floating on top and a couple of unidentified white objects huddled near the fringes) to drive the title home. This photograph was then included in an article titled, “Summertime and the Ag Pond is icky,” which includes SFA residents and Nacogdoches natives voicing concerns for what the Ag Pond had become. In lack of better terms: a spectacle.
This begs the question: What has happened to the Ag Pond? Its demise not only seems to be a paradigm of lessened pride in SFA, but it also seems to be a personal look at the care that we do not provide to the environment. Though claims of climate change seem unreal when shown in the news, we have a reminder of its weight right on our campus. The Ag Pond looks to no longer be routinely cleaned and treated, and now serves as a wasteland. If this is what is shown to the public, there is no telling what impact our negligence to the environment has in private.
A body of water that used to be filled with fish and home to beloved ducks is now a place where students have remembered seeing ducks struggling, as well as seeing someone drunkenly vomit into. A landmark of pride is now being treated as a family secret that most know about, but try not to acknowledge. What is worse is that the students who reside in Hall 20 have to wake up and routinely smell a medley of waste and climate change in the mornings.
I just truly believe that the Ag Pond should be tended to more than it is now. At the end of last semester, there was a duck that was slowly dying. It took it at least two days that I know of. This is also what students, alumni and our families see when they visit for football games and tailgates. After all, we should value the University’s landmarks.