Vandals apparently playing a St. Patrick’s Day prank dyed the water green at Myriad Gardens, and the cleanup will be expensive.
Myriad Gardens executive director Maureen Heffernan said it is not known whether the dye will hurt the wildlife — fish, ducks, turtles and birds — that call the gardens home.
“It takes several thousands of dollars of staff time and resources to clean up after it,” Heffernan said. “A harmless prank, seemingly, has real consequences.”
Staff at the gardens were alerted to the green water about 5 a.m. Monday. Because all the water features are connected and contained, the dye spread through the entirety of the gardens, which includes 2.2 million gallons of water. Some areas of pavement and birds’ feathers were also stained green.
“I don’t know what the consequences to (wildlife) are,” Heffernan said. “We don’t know what chemical was used, we don’t know the concentration. I would sure hope that none of the animals have any skin irritations or anything worse than that.”
A water sample has been sent to Accurate Laboratories in Oklahoma City to find out what kind of dye was used. Heffernan said she’s researched the different methods used to dye large amounts of water.
“When cities do this on purpose, they used a carrot-based nontoxic, supposedly nonstaining, dye,” Heffernan said. “So we’re hoping that’s what this is, we just don’t know right now.”
Heffernan said it’s likely a chemical will be used to dilute the dye. The green water will then be drained and replaced with fresh water. But that process is on hold until they find out what type of dye was used.
Myriad Gardens officials are asking anyone with information about the prank to call police.
“What I would say to these pranksters is that, ‘Could you think of something more original?’” Heffernan asked.
“Dyeing the water green is not that original. Think of a prank that is fun and creative and doesn’t harm something ... Those are the best kinds of pranks,” Heffernan said.