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Manlius residents keep watch over Swan Pond

Melanie Uhlig, 52, of Fayetteville, looks over the Manlius Swan pond. Uhlig is a member of the Swan Patrol.

Melanie Uhlig, 52, of Fayetteville, looks over the Manlius Swan pond. Uhlig is a member of the Swan Patrol. Photo by Stephanie Bouvia.

Although it is a major effort on the part of many, to Venditti, it’s all worth it.

“The Swan Pond, to me, is an icon here in the village,” she said. “The Swan Pond’s been part of my life forever.”

Larissa Brenner, 32, of Manlius, another member of the Swan Patrol, is planning on compiling a book of observations and experiences had by the various patrol volunteers. The book, once finished, would be sold and proceeds would support the Swan Pond.

“Even just on my first shift… I was on with two other women that I’d never met before, and we all had different reasons for wanting to be there, and I thought, ‘I bet everybody has a different reason, and it would be really neat to hear everybody’s thoughts,’” she said.

Brenner’s reason for volunteering to patrol the pond was inspired by her three-year-old son. She said the pond is a special place that she and her family enjoy spending time at, and when the first batch of eggs were destroyed, her son’s reaction motivated her to volunteer to watch the area.

“The day after the eggs had been smashed, he asked me if we could go visit the eggs and visit the mom, and I had to tell him what happened. And his lip started quivering and he got tears in his eyes, and I could tell he was trying really hard not to cry, and he just said, ‘That mommy must be so sad,’” Brenner said.

The Swan Pond is an iconic and special location for many residents, Brenner said, and it allows people to connect to the environment, something that is hard to come by in many villages.

“I think it helps our village feel more connected to nature,” she said. “There’s this little beautiful piece of nature here, and it makes you feel like you’re kind of in a getaway place.”

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