Penn is investigating a case of vandalism at the BioPond this past weekend.
The BioPond, located in James G. Kaskey Memorial Park behind the Quad, turned a reddish color as a result of the vandalism. According to the University crime log published by the Division of Public Safety, an instance of vandalism of private property was recorded at the BioPond at 2:47 p.m. on March 18. The case is still active.
"There was vandalism at the BioPond over the weekend that is being investigated, and we are working with groups across campus to determine the best way to clean up the damage and mitigate environmental impact," Kaskey Park Greenhouse and Garden manager Kathryn Butler wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Facilities and Real Estate Services declined to comment. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety did not respond to multiple requests for comment by publication, and a request for comment was left with the University spokesperson.
"Environmental Health & Radiation Safety also responded to examine the BioPond for the safety and well-being of both people and the vibrant animal and plant biodiversity," Vice President of Public Safety Kathleen Shields Anderson told the DP on Sunday.
In addition to turning a reddish hue, the pond was encircled by caution tape wrapped around the surrounding trees. It remains unclear if the caution tape is part of the vandalism. Rocks in the pond were also stained red, and some red residue was evident on the sign.
"If you have been wondering what is going on at the pond, there was some upsetting vandalism over the weekend that resulted in the discolored water, rocks, and other surrounding surfaces," an Instagram story posted by the BioPond's Instagram account read.
The modern Kaskey Park first opened as a research garden in 1897. The park was named after the son of Richard and Jeanne Kaskey, who funded the upkeep and renovation of the pond, and it is also home to the Department of Biology greenhouse It is located between a number of the Biology Laboratories and the Anatomy Chemistry Building of the School of Medicine.
FRES will undertake an effort to repair and clean the pond after the incident, while also trying to identify the cause of the sudden color change.