Gull’s Call Article on the Lagoon System
The Long Salt Water Lagoon of Harbor Bay
One of Harbor Bay’s most striking features is the Long Salt Water Lagoon. Approximately 1.5 miles in length, it wends its way through 9 neighborhoods, provides an environmentally-friendly alternate path to the stores and services at Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center; and offers myriad opportunities to exercise, socialize, and appreciate the local flora and fauna. So pervasive is the lagoon’s influence on community life, it is difficult to imagine Harbor Bay without it.
Scattered along its length are numerous benches, bridges and piers from which to enjoy the views across the water. Wildlife is in abundance, including ducks, seagulls, cranes, squirrels and housecats. Weeping willows and other trees rise above the paths, their reflections shimmering in the water. Less windy and busy than the coastline path that runs along Shoreline Park, the lagoon offers residents another restorative opportunity to commune quietly with nature.
Cavorting along the Long Salt Water Lagoon also yields opportunities to observe a gamut of architectural and landscaping approaches. Construction styles elicit echoes ranging from Mediterranean villas to Pacific Northwest cabins. Individual boat docks on the north side are ubiquitous, with dozens of canoes, paddleboats and inflatable rafts visible year-round. The eye is drawn to decks and gardens on both sides, many featuring landscaping and design quirks that would look at home in Kyoto or Las Vegas.
Small delights abound. Several playgrounds and beaches appear unexpectedly. Occasionally, a small plaque with a name can be seen on a bench or a bridge, its words hinting at the breadth of an individual’s history of community service. For a few days each spring, a grove of seven cherry trees provides a dreamlike pink snowstorm, its blossoms blanketing the path below.
The beauty, tranquility and activity inspired by the Long Salt Water Lagoon are kept intact by the Maintenance branch of the Community Offices. They’re the ones who regulate the daily flow of 9 million gallons of water, battle the annual explosion of algae during the summer months, trim the foliage and drive off rabid animals. Our quality of life is enhanced by their efforts.
One of the best times to rediscover the lagoon is during the spring, which is coming soon. Trees and flowers begin blooming, mallards are visible with ducklings in tow, and annoying insects are still few in number. However, each season brings its own charm to the Long Salt Water Lagoon, and one of the benefits of being a Harbor Bay resident is having the opportunity to get to know them all.
Whatever the time of year, I know that every time I commence riding along the lagoon, steering my bike down the slope off Adelphian Way on a sparkling morning, racing past gleaming, sun-kissed houses with their docks reflected in the water; cruising along its length to view a panoply of human and animal activity amidst a riot of colorful plant life, the same thought always comes to mind: “I am so lucky to live here.”
– Basil Bunting