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    "Pond Happenings"

    May 2000 Newsletter

    The May meeting will be held on Saturday, May 13 at 9:00 am at the Home Depot located at 425 S. Val Vista in Mesa (southeast corner of Val Vista and Broadway). Thanks go to Ed T., our Vice President, who made all the arrangements for this meeting. We will be going over the pond tour details. The speaker this month will be Ken Ngo. He has built several ponds and helps with the watergardening for Home Depot. He will pass on some of his pond experience and knowledge. Please enter through the garden department on the north side of the store and turn right once inside the gate. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs. We also have permission to have a plant exchange outside the store area, so bring all your extra plants!

    DIRECTIONS: FROM the Superstition Freeway (Highway 60), head north at the Val Vista exit approximately 1 mile. It will be on the right (east) side. FROM the 202, take the McKellips exit and head east approximately 5 miles. Turn right (south) on Val Vista for approximately 31/2 miles. It will be on the left (east) side.  

    Our April meeting was held at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch Park in Gilbert. Scott Anderson, the executive director, was our guest speaker. He led the group to a ramada at the top of a small hill in the park. From that vantage point, we could see the entire water park with its lake and retention ponds. Scott explained how the Preserve utilizes reclaimed waste water to create a wetland wildlife sanctuary while allowing the water to percolate back down to the groundwater table. The site has a 5 acre lake and 4.5 miles of public trails and the Institute provides tours and educational programs to schools and the public. It is a very interesting concept that several other communities are now studying for their own use. We saw several kinds of ducks, some long-legged Stilts, a Great Blue Heron and a Northern Harrier which was pointed out by Tom H..

    Thanks to Peggy and Nick J. we had orange juice and lots of wonderful goodies at the April Meeting. Now, we need one or two members to bring refreshments to the May meeting at the Home Depot. If you have not hosted a meeting and/or don't wish to, please take your turn at refreshments. Contact Dianne at Thanks!

    Thanks to Cathy W. for handing out GPPS applications at the Tempe Garden Tour, we gained four new members!!!!  THANKS, CATHY!

    David & Emily A. - Phoenix 
    Kay B. - Chandler 
    Karen K. - Gilbert 
    Don & Janet S. - Mesa

    The pond tour is on Saturday, June 10 from 8 am - 2 pm. There are six backyard ponds on the tour (2 in Mesa, 2 in Gilbert, 2 in Chandler). The tickets are $5.00 per person and children 12 and under are free. At the April meeting, it was voted to donate 50% of the proceeds to the Gilbert Riparian Institute. There are five east valley nurseries that have agreed to SELL TICKETS FOR US!! They are A&P Nursery (2), Harpers Nursery, Treeland Nursery and Whitfill Nursery. Since the members won't have to sit in the heat for a shift selling tickets at a nursery, it is hoped that each member can presell at least 5 tickets. Be thinking about who you can sell tickets to - family, friends, co-workers, etc. As a member, you may attend the tour at no charge. Your ticket will arrive in the mail with the June newsletter. Also think about where you can post a flyer. A bulletin board at work or in your neighborhood, at cluster mailboxes, plant nurseries, in the garden department at stores, etc. Hopefully, flyers and tickets will be ready to pick up at the May meeting. Jerry Harper of Harper's Nursery has offered to mention our tour on his Saturday morning radio show, "Green Thumb Garden Show". It airs every Saturday from 8 am to 10 am on 960 am. If your place of business or subdivision has a newsletter, see if you can get the pond tour mentioned in it. Advertising is going to be the key to the success of the tour. I am currently contacting two local magazines and the two area newspapers. Any other ideas?

    It has been a pleasure to be able to edit the GPPS newsletter for over a year now. However, it is time for Gray and I to step down and let someone else take over the reigns of the newsletter. After the June newsletter the editor spot will be open. This may just be the oppurtunity you have been waiting for. Let Dianne know if you are interested.