Buckingham Pond, About the Pond Hero Image

Frequently Asked Questions

The Conservancy is a volunteer organization, and as such we can advocate for our park, and we rely on the following City of Albany departments to provide maintenance and municipal oversight for various park- and pond-related issues. You can report concerns and questions directly to the City of Albany via the See Click Fix platform on your computer or smartphone. 

Neighborhood & Community Quality of Life

The Neighborhood & Community Services Department helps connect you with the services you need. If you are reporting a non-emergency quality of life issue such as potholes, illegal garbage or property overgrowth, please report it directly in See Click Fix.

Alex Word, Neighborhood Specialist
Buckingham Lake Neighborhood
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 518-419-1457

Park Maintenance

The Department of General Services provides regular maintenance, upgrades and daily operations for the grounds at Buckingham Pond.
Phone: 518-434-2489
Email: [email protected]

Recreation and Playground

The Department of Recreation manages the playground at Buckingham Pond park and provides ice testing for ice skating on the pond.
Phone: 518-434-5699
Email: [email protected]

Albany Water Department

The Water Department is responsible for the pond’s role in managing stormwater.
Phone: 518-434-5300
Email: [email protected]

BPC Stormwater Medallions

Did You Know?

The Conservancy regularly maintains the catch basin medallions in the watershed area surrounding the pond. We could use your help; alert us if you see damaged medallions or if the catch basins require cleaning.


How long is the path around the pond?
The walking/jogging gravel path is approximately 0.72 mile long.

Am I allowed to (swim, bike, canoe, fish)?
Swimming in the pond is not allowed. The trail around the pond is not intended for biking; walking/jogging are the primary activities on the path around the pond. While the Conservancy uses a canoe during the summer to conduct water testing, public boating is not encouraged. Fishing in the pond is allowed, and statewide fishing regulations apply.

How do I know if it’s safe to skate? Does someone clear the snow for skating?
The City of Albany Recreation Department tests the ice, and posts notices on its website (or on signs around the pond) about whether the ice is safe or unsafe for use. Always check with the Department of Recreation before skating on the pond. Typically, the Recreation Department does not clear snow for skating, but they often work collaboratively with the Conservancy to clear snow for the annual skating party.

Can I have an event at the pond?
The Pond grounds are the property of the City of Albany. Events require permits from the City of Albany Clerk’s Office. Visit the City Clerk’s Licenses and Forms page  to access the permit application.

Is there a drinking fountain? Are there toilet facilities?
There is a drinking fountain that operates during the warm months, and it is maintained by the City of Albany Department of General Services (DGS). A port-a-potty is available at the pond currently.

Is the pond accessible for someone in a wheelchair?
Depending on weather conditions and rainstorms, the path may not always be accessible to wheelchairs due to deep ruts caused by severe storm events. However, the parking lot and playground are generally accessible and provide wonderful views of the pond, and the playground was designed as an inclusive playground, welcoming all children.

For answers to many other frequently asked questions please visit City of Albany Department of Recreation website.


Why are there fountains in the pond?
The City installed “aerators,” the three fountains, to increase water circulation in the pond, to reduce algae, and to serve as decorative water features.

Who is in charge of the fountains?
The Department of General Services (DGS) operates, maintains, and repairs the fountains. The Conservancy often communicates with DGS if the fountains require attention, but we encourage residents to inform both the Conservancy and DGS if issues arise.

When do the fountains come on each day?
We believe that the daily schedule is 7am to 11pm.

When do the fountains get put in and taken out each year?
The Department of General Services controls the fountains when they are in operation; usually they operate mid-April to mid-October.

Is the pond part of the Municipal Storm Water system? How does that work?
Yes! Buckingham Pond is a shallow man-made water body that is an important part of the stormwater management system for the City of Albany. See more on the Pond History for its role in stormwater management.

Is there sewage in the pond?
No, only stormwater drainage goes to the pond. See more on the Pond History for its role in stormwater management.

Is the water safe to swim/drink/allow my pets to play in?
No, copper sulfate herbicide from many years of weed control efforts has collected on the bottom of the pond, the pond is regularly treated with herbicides and algaecides, and the stormwater that feeds the pond may be contaminated with any number of pollutants.

What’s the deal with the “little pond” west of the main pond, and what’s that cement thing in it?
The “little pond” is the stilling basin that collects stormwater from four primary storm drains serving 270 acres of land around the pond—as far away as Washington Avenue. The concrete structure is the pump station that directs the stormwater to a NYS drainage line which runs along Route 85 Bypass to the Krumkill. See more on the Pond History for its role in stormwater management.

How is the water quality?
The Conservancy has participated in the Citizen’s Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) since 2011 to test the water quality in the pond. Those reports are available, please reach out if you’d like to see them.

The pond is what scientists call “eutrophic,” meaning that is lacks oxygen in the water column due to decomposing organic matter and fertilizers, nutrients, and contaminants that drain into the Pond. Everything from lawn treatments to soap used to wash cars, etc. finds its way to the pond through the stormwater system and surface runoff that empties into our urban water body.

The input of oxygen to the Pond system is assisted through the use of the three seasonal aerators.

The water level in the pond is unusually low, or unusually high, what should I do?
Call the City at 518-434-CITY or submit a request via SeeClickFix. The City manages the water level via the pump in the stilling basin.

For answers related to the water quality, please visit City of Albany Water Department. For water fountain concerns or questions please visit City of Albany Department of General Services.



Is it OK to feed the ducks / geese?
Please don’t feed the ducks and geese! While it’s fun to feed the wildlife, it’s not good for the pond or for the wildlife! Feeding the wildlife can cause:
> Poor nutrition
> Spread of disease
> Unnatural behavior
> Pollution
> Overcrowding
> Development of Deformed Wings
> Loss of flight ability
> Delayed migration

Read more about waterfowl feeding habits from the NYS Department of Conservation.

What do I do if I see a bird or other animal in distress?
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation maintains a list of wildlife rehabilitators who may be able to advise you what to do. The Buckingham Pond Conservancy encourages you to reach out to these qualified individuals for assistance. We do not have the staff or resources to assist stranded or injured wildlife. Amy Bizer, Wildlife Rehabilitator residing our neighborhood has agreed to help assess individual situation: [email protected].

I found a turtle in the road/on the other side of the road, what should I do?

If the animal is not injured, it’s likely that it knows how to go back to where it came from. All the turtles who have laid their eggs around the pond over the years have typically figured it out how to return to the pond. For more information, please check NYS Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines on wildlife health.

I saw a Heron, Bald Eagle, Muskrat … is that typical?
Bald eagles and herons have been spotted at the pond, which is home to a wide variety of native species, both flora and fauna. Our last muskrat sighting was a few years ago, so if you do see one, please let us know! Our neighbors and visitors are constantly posting images of seen/heard species on Flickr (by searching for Buckingham Pond) or sometimes on our Facebook page.

Are there snapping turtles in the pond?
Yes, there are snapping turtles, and some are quite large. We recommend that you use caution around snapping turtles!

What kind of (fish/turtles/birds/flowers/trees) are at/in the pond?
The Buckingham Pond is home to a wide variety of native species, both flora  and fauna. Our tree tagging project has identified 22 types of trees. Our neighbors and visitors are constantly posting images of seen/heard species on Flickr or sometimes on our Facebook page, and the Conservancy would welcome a volunteer to help document the many species at the pond.

I see an invasive species that I’m concerned about, what should I do?
Please inform the Conservancy at [email protected]. You can, and should, also report the sighting via NY iMapInvasives, an online, collaborative, GIS-based database and mapping tool that serves as the official invasive species database for New York State.

In partnership with Capital-Mohawk PRISM, the Conservancy has conducted a limited survey of invasive plant species species at the pond. A variety of invasive vegetative species have been observed in multiple locations around the site, including common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora), common reed (Phragmites australis), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), and oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus). We actively manage some of those plant species including: Japanese knotweed (in collaboration with the AWD), wild parsnip (please do not touch because it causes skin irritation, typically removed by DGS), garlic mustard and oriental bittersweet (with BPC volunteer help). With member financial support, we also treat two of our ash trees on the north side of the pond between Euclid and Lenox to protect them from the Emerald Ash Borer. This invasive beetle is devastating ash trees throughout the United States.


The grass needs to be mowed, the shrubs need to be trimmed, there’s a tree across the path, can you please take care of that?
The pond is a City park is maintained by the City of Albany Department of General Services (DGS). The Conservancy does not have the staff to do such maintenance. We do meet with DGS regularly to let them know of areas of concern. You may always directly contact the City of Albany Department of General Services (or by submitting a work request in SeeClickFix) and email the Conservancy to let us know of areas that require clean-ups.

Can I help with park & ground maintenance?
The pond is a City park is maintained by the City of Albany Department of General Services (DGS). However, the Conservancy is piloting a “Park Stewards” program, where neighborhood volunteers are trained, select a section of path/park to maintain, and report the work to the Conservancy. The Conservancy can provide “I Am A Volunteer” safety vest to Park Stewards.

There’s a lot of trash, do you do park clean-up days?
Twice a year we organize a park clean-up event. In the spring, the clean-up day is held in May, and in the fall, the clean-up day is held in November. You may always directly contact the City of Albany Department of General Services (or by submitting a work request in SeeClickFix) and the Conservancy to let us know of areas that require clean-ups.

The playground needs more mulch, there’s a broken piece of equipment, what do I do?
The playground is a City playground and is maintained by the City of Albany Department of Recreation. The Conservancy does not have the staff to do maintenance at the playground. We do have a “Playground Champion” who advises the Recreation Department of concerns.  You may always directly contact the City of Albany Recreation Department and the Conservancy to let us know of areas that require work/repair.


When was the Conservancy Founded?
The Buckingham Pond Conservancy was founded in 2009.
See About Us for more information.

How do I become a member?
Please visit our Become a Member page to learn more.

How do I get more involved?
There are many to get more involved. We welcome new and renewing members, volunteers at organized or individual work days, ground maintenance as Park Stewards, participation in our monthly board meetings, or financial contributions.

I have a great idea for the Conservancy, how do I get that implemented?
We welcome ideas and volunteers to implement them! If you’d like to get involved, please contact us or join the monthly board meeting to discuss your idea. There may already be an initiative or project that dovetails well with your idea.

I have some great photos of the pond, does the Conservancy want them?
Always! We continue to collect photos to be used on the website or as part of our archive. If we use your photos in communications, we will get your permission to use your work on the BPC website. Please email your high resolution photos to [email protected].

Thank you for your interest. If your question is not answered here, please email us at [email protected], and we will do our best to direct you.

Buckingham Pond Conservancy, Eastern Larch

Did You Know?

The Park is home to several Eastern Larch trees–a unique species that look like evergreens, but lose their needles seasonally. Look for them near the Playground.