Painting the Waverly Duck

Volunteers gathered for the first of several painting sessions to restore the Waverly Duck to its former glory.

The Waverly Duck, that giant foam and fiberglass rendering of a wood duck that once floated atop Waverly Lake, will return to Albany’s gateway pond at noon on Thursday, June 29. The public is invited.

The duck greeted drivers rolling into Albany along Pacific Boulevard in the mid-1980s, and was purchased in 1997 by antique shop owner Mike Briggs. In 2007, the city's Parks Department decided to pull it from the water in the wake of concerns over its condition and upkeep. 

The idea to resurrect the duck came in January, when the owner's widow, Pam Briggs, asked Mayor Sharon Konopa if the city would like to take ownership of the icon. But when the city council washed its hands of the idea, the fate of the duck fell to Konopa, Councilor Ray Kopczynski and Ed Hodney, the city's acting economic development and urban renewal director.

Kopczynski launched and salted the GoFundMe effort with $100. A $3,000 donation from Darlene Chambers put the account well into the black. Donations currently total about $5,700.

Main Auto Body donated labor and materials to clean up the duck and prime it for repainting. Konopa, Kopczynski, members of the Albany Arts Commission and other volunteers painted the duck in early June. Richard and Barb Ferrell of Albany donated a trailer to transport the refreshed waterfowl to the lake.

Those who drive to the duck’s launch should plan to park in the lower lot at Waverly Park and access the lake via the pedestrian tunnel.

Contact reporter Neil Zawicki at 541-812-6099 or neil.zawicki@lee.net

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