Virginia Tech Duck Pond

Blacksburg, VA
United States
Virginia Tech Duck Pond

Landscape Information

Lying at the confluence of three spring-fed streams that originate in Blacksburg and flow into Stroubles Creek, the Duck Pond- in concert with the Drillfield and the Alumni Mall- serves to unify the central campus of Virginia Tech. The park's upper and lower ponds mark the dividing point between the Upper Stroubles Creek watershed to the east and the Lower Stroubles Creek watershed to the west. The upper pond, constructed in 1880-81, served as an ice pond for the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College until 1898 when the campus’s first refrigeration plant was installed. The lower pond was first proposed in 1913 by civil engineering student Bernard H. Fowle for his undergraduate thesis. Construction of the lower pond was completed in 1937 as part of a project to enlarge the nearby Drill Field.

Referred to as the Duck Pond by university students, the park provides opportunities for both passive and active recreation. A paved path traverses the park and connects it to the larger campus trail system. The park’s landscape features include a waterside gazebo, benches, and picnic areas. Informal plantings, which include a small section of hardwood forest, mixed flowering and evergreen shrubs, and open lawns, support a diversity of wildlife. The plantings merge with a wooded slope to the south linking the park to the nearby woodland amphitheater and “The Grove,” Virginia Tech's President’s home. Adjacent to the upper pond is Solitude, a circa1840 Greek Revival frame house, the oldest structure on the Virginia Tech campus.