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    "Pond Happenings"

    March 2000 Newsletter

    March Meeting
    The March meeting will be held on Saturday, March 11 at 9:00 am at Bert & Betty's pond in Scottsdale. Their pond is almost 4 years old and was constructed by Dennis Call from Ancon Associates, Inc. The backyard is desert landscape and the water feature begins as a desert spring in the middle of the yard. The water flows toward the house over four waterfalls through rock and gravel filled streams into three ponds. All filtering is done naturally by moving the water over a large surface area of gravel, rock and plants. Wildlife visitors include desert toads, rabbits, squirrels, hawks, roadrunners, quail and migratory birds. If you have not yet seen Bert & Betty's ponds, you are in for a very pleasant surprise.

    Art B. is our guest speaker for the March meeting. He will be educating us about the Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat program sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation. This program began in 1975 as a way to acknowledge the efforts of people who were "gardening for wildlife" around their homes, from small city gardens to large rural lots. Over 23,000 sites have been recognized with a Certificate of Achievement and only 225 of those are in Arizona. The program encourages everyone to plan their landscaping with the needs of wildlife in mind. To be certified, habitats must provide four basic elements for animals. One of the elements is water!! A large yard is not necessary - there is even a certified habitat in Manhattan on a high-rise balcony. Art B. lives in Tempe and has had a certified habitat for about 10 years. He has two large ponds with several kinds of turtles living in his backyard. He also has visits from herons, ducks, lots of birds and even a swarm of bees. Art has a natural approach to gardening that he says most people would say is messy, but he grows herbs, flowers, vegetables, and has even tried sugarcane and tobacco. He also grows gourds and makes his own birdhouses. It should be a VERY INTERESTING morning! Be sure to attend and bring your lawn chairs and any plants to share.

    February Meeting Review 
    The February meeting was held at Laurie R.'s house in Gilbert. The morning started out quite cool, breezy and cloudy, but calmed down and ended up very pleasant. We had a small turnout, but we sure had a good time!! We all kept an eye on the Great Blue Heron and Green Heron that took turns standing on the bank of the lake behind Laurie's house. After her horrible experience with herons last Spring, Cathy W. didn't even want to look at the birds! Laurie was in charge of the hands-on demonstration on repotting and dividing various plants with Ed T. and Dick W. assisting. She demonstrated dividing and planting a hardy water lily, a sedge, plume grass, clover and parrots feather and did a really fantastic job. All of the divided plants found new homes! Dick W. surprised us with "show and tell"--He brought along his resident bullfrog, Bull! Bull has been living in Dick's ponds for about three years and is quite large. He was allowed to hop around Laurie's backyard while we asked questions.

    2000 Pond Tour 
    It looks like we've narrowed the pond tour area down a little. We have a small cluster of volunteers in Phoenix and also a small cluster in the East Valley. If anyone would like to volunteer their pond or has any suggestions please contact Dianne at Also, if anyone has any kind of publicity contacts - newspaper, magazines, TV, etc. - please contact Dianne.  We have many positions to fill if you would like to help out but not show your pond on the tour.

    Our own Cathy W. is also a member of the Tempe Garden Club and has organized a Garden Lovers Tour on Saturday, April 8 from 9am to 4pm. Tickets are $5.00 per person or $10.00 per family and will be sold on April 1 and April 8 from 8 am to noon at the Tempe Tip Top Nurseries at 1980 E. Broadway and 1230 W. Elliot. Tickets can also be purchased 
    after 9 am on April 8 at the first garden in the tour located at 21 E. 13th Street (directly across from ASU's Gammage Auditorium). Proceeds will be donated to the construction of a Gazebo on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake. This is the same day as our Pond Society meeting in Gilbert, so please attend the meeting then plan to head over to the Garden Lovers Tour. Three of the gardens on the tour also have ponds!