Every year, in the late fall, the BPD parks department will drain the Proksa Park pond water and remove the pumps located at the bottom. This is done to prevent the pipes from freezing and becoming damaged during the winter season.
Although the Berwyn Park District did not stock the pond with wildlife, we are aware that fish, turtles, frogs, etc. are inhabitants and take care to see that they are not harmed. Fish, turtles, and frogs are "ectothermic" or as some call it "cold-blooded." Unlike birds and mammals (including us humans!), they can't generate enough heat on their own to maintain optimal internal body temperatures. Instead, they rely on heat from external sources, such as the air and water, to get their bodies moving.
When air and water temperatures, food supplies, and oxygen levels drop low enough, ectotherms survive by entering "torpor" - a period of inactivity lasting days, weeks, or months at a time that allows them to conserve energy. Although it may appear that the wildlife disappears during the winter months, the pond will start to teem with life again in the warmth of spring.
As you pass the pond at Proksa Park on a chilly day, think about the animals below and the amazing adaptations that help them survive winter under the ice!