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Sinda Jackson 10-23-2009 02:17 PM

HELP! I am a teacher who needs advice
I am a new teacher taking on the task of building a pond. We are starting this project blindly and so I am here to ask for advice. The studnets and I have made list of materials but are not sure if they are completely what we need. Any advice you are willing to share will be a great help. Thank you!

jsoong 10-24-2009 01:11 AM

First, welcome to AA!

I think a bit more details might get you better advice. What is the goal of building the pond, what do you intend to keep in it, where is it located, size, etc. When we know what you are trying to achieve, we might have more suggestions.

Sinda Jackson 10-26-2009 02:29 PM

The school is allowing us 3/4 of an acre. We are wanting to use it for educational purposes. The students are thinking about using Tilapia. We are not sure where we really need to go with this project. We have information on needing an liner and filter, pump. I am mostly looking for ideas on building and caring for a pond. Any information will help.

WhiteDevil 10-26-2009 05:05 PM

This is my friends and ex coworkers business.

Frontier Ponds Home Page

It might help you, it should, Richard Petty was happy with his pond from these guys.

They have fish list, plant list, check thru the site real well and most your answers are there.

Building takes alot of engineering and excavating skills, shovels wont do.

jsoong 10-26-2009 11:15 PM

I am not really a pond person (read lots, but hadn't got around to building one yet.) So real pond owners please chime in!

3/4 acre is a large area. I don't suppose you want to have a pond that size! <If you do, you are looking at professional engineering help, clay liner, etc. .. way out of my league.>

My neighborhood school did something like that. They have around 150x50' to work with, and did a pond/wetland habitat. That was a major project & took some 2 years.

To keep the project manageable, they concentrated on the surrounding landscape rather than the pond itself. The pond is maybe 10x15' & only a foot or less deep. This is an elemetary school & there is liability concerns with a deep pond & small kids. With such a shallow pond in the frozen north, year round fish keeping is out of the question. They basically have frogs & (native) aquatic insects.

The pond was built with liner in a dug hole. <Even at that size, they use a bobcat ... shovels would take too long.> Typically you would have a layer of fine sand in the hole to protect the liner, & a rock "wall" around the perimeters to hold down the liner & disguise the edge. To make the bog area around the pond, they dug out the topsoil, lay down a liner & refill. This forms the habitat for bog plants. They also landscaped the surrounding area with other plantings, paths & benches, etc.

As I recall, the basic earth moving was done by the pros with heavy equipment. The students & parents did the final grading & planting. Stocking was "au natural" ... whatever birds, insects or frogs came to the pond & took up residence. The study of the naturally evolving ecosystem was the object, in addition to providing for a quiet retreat for the students.

Depending on where you are located & the climate, care of a pond would be different. In temperate locations, you might be able to stock minnows, etc. Fish will certainly keep down mosquitoes, as will having adequate water circulation so the water is not stagnant.

You would also need to look into any local laws regarding pond depth & fencing & other safety issues, esp. in a school setting.

Bige 10-26-2009 11:41 PM

Do you know when you want it to be finished? Did you want to do it slowly over the year or by Christmas. I am assuming that you have 3/4 of an acre but the pond will not be that big. You and the kids could do a liner pond in or out of the ground fairly easy. If you want to use all the land then you will have to hire a pro. My mother is a teacher and a few years ago she did this. I built the pond and she slowly added plants and animals through out the year. It was fun. the kids loved it.

BeavisMom62 11-11-2009 05:20 PM

Not sure if this will help you, but Handyman magazine has had articles about building ponds. I'm pretty sure they have a website also. The article gives you instructions about how to build it, what you need, how long it will take, etc.

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