To Brian Meshkin, a Glenelg High School senior, Warfield Pond ought to be more than a large mudhole.
After watching as the pond was drained by a contractor working for the county, the 18-year-old Shady Lane resident has begun a crusade to restore it and hopes to rally his Glenwood neighbors to join him.
"I am furious that the pond in our neighborhood that I have grown up fishing in, gazing at, and watching from my home is now destroyed," he wrote in a flier produced on his computer below a headline reading "Our Warfield Pond is DEAD!!"
But county officials say the $152,000 project to deepen the pond that began when it was drained a little over a month ago is not dead, just a little slow.
"The work that was going to be done is the work that is going to be done," said Ronald G. Lepson, chief of the department's Bureau of Engineering.
The only change in the project, Mr. Lepson said, is that the contractor, Melvin Benhoff and Sons Inc., was unable to move sediment while it was wet and was given an extra two weeks to allow the mud to dry out.
After the 5 1/2 -acre pond is deepened and filled again, the county has plans to make the area around it into a small neighborhood park, possibly by adding benches and a parking lot.
But Mr. Meshkin fears that the delay could make it much harder to fill the pond, because spring rains will be missed and the bottom could become too dry.
Another problem the project poses, he says, is a large drainage pipe that could prove to be a tempting but dangerous place for small children to play.
"You have a fire pond that's used for the entire Glenwood area that's empty," Mr. Meshkin said. "Will it fill back up? They can't give you any definite guarantee."
But Mr. Lepson said there is no reason to believe that the springs that feed the pond will dry up.
"It's going to take a time to fill up, no doubt about it," said Mr. Lepson, who could not predict how long that process would take.
Mr. Meshkin has organized a meeting for Glenwood-area residents and others interested in the park project, including County Councilman Charles C. Feaga, R-5th, at 7 p.m. next Thursday at Gethsemane Baptist Church, 14135 Burnt Woods Road, Glenwood.
Mr. Feaga said he hopes to visit the site before the meeting with one of the county officials responsible for the project.
"If we need to put a temporary fence around it or something, I want to see that," Mr. Feaga said. "Ponds are beautiful, but unfortunately they can be problems."