Councilman requesting changes to Big Spring Park to accommodate waterfowl

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.  - Other than a coot or two, most of the webbed waterfowl that roost at Big Spring Park have flocked to other spaces. In a matter of months, when work is complete, many of those ducks and Canada Geese will return to find their home remodeled. Those changes haven't gone unnoticed.

“What I call little old ladies in tennis shoes at Gibson’s BBQ," says District 4 Councilman Bill Kling.

Councilman Kling was notified of some concerns while satisfying a pork craving.  “The women came up to me and said they went by Big Spring Park and they noticed there wasn’t an island there, they were concerned. Is there going to be one added as a part of the renovation?” he says.

WHNT News 19 checked with the city, and they confirm the duck island will not return when the park reopens April 1st. Kling's constituents tell him they refuse to duck this issue.

"They made it clear, in no uncertain terms, they expected to have that island put back in," he says.

Kling says the island served as a refuge for the waterfowl.  “It’s something ducks actually need so they’ll have a place to get away from dogs and screaming kids,” says the councilman.

A representative of the City of Huntsville tells WHNT News 19 the island was actually cleared of vegetation several years ago, because predatory migratory birds also liked the island so much, they ran off some of the local ducks.

They also say the island was removed to help water flow and prevent sludge from forming.

Councilman Kling says he's optimistic something can be worked out.  "I don’t think it’s that far along that it couldn’t be reconstructed," he says.

Kling admits this isn't the biggest issue in the world, but more than anything, wants to give concerned citizens the chance to spread their wings and speak their mind.

"We don’t want to be another concrete and glass city. Yes we’re growing and yes we’re expanding but at the same time, we still have time for the little things," says Kling.

Councilman Kling plans to address these issues Thursday night during a special session of the Huntsville City Council. The representative from the city says they're looking forward to addressing some of these concerns brought forward by Councilman Kling, but at the moment, they still don't have any plans to restore the duck island.