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    "Pond Happenings"

    April 2003 Newsletter


    Our May meeting will be held on Saturday, May 10 at 9:00 am.  It will be held at Dom & Lydia D.'s pond in Scottsdale. They were members of GPPS for four years before they built their pond. They came to the meetings and tours and looked, listened and learned about ponds. They have ended up with a truly great pond.  There are about 50 feet of ponds, interlocking streams and a waterfall. The pond holds about 5500 gallons and is done in a concrete rock form. Lydia is also our speaker this month.  She will discuss how to create an area in your backyard that will attract wildlife and enhance your environment. She will cover topics such as selecting plants for food, cover, nesting, windbreak, canopy, understory, ground covers and low water usage. Other topics included are types of feeders for birds and other critters, building and placing bird/bat houses, the value of brush, log and rock piles. She will cover methods in which you can conserve water and create an environmental friendly area for people and wildlife.

    Please bring your lawn chairs and any plants to share.  Lydia says there is a lack of shade during the hot season and suggests that members might want to also bring umbrellas for shade.


    As expected, Thom's new ponds were spectacular!! There was an audible "Wow," as members entered the backyard!  We were also privileged to be allowed into the "Train House" again. President Dan Stough opened the meeting at 9:20 am. Rob Lang, our Water Conservation Chairperson informed us that research has been done in New Mexico on water evaporation. The research found that ponds evaporate 1 1/2 times less than lawns. Robin Fernald added that Kevin Fitzsimons from U of A is doing a study on plant transpiration. He has found that water plants transpire less than terrestrial plants. Dan gave an update of the pond tour. There are presently 6 ponds in the northeast Phoenix and Scottsdale area. More volunteers are needed to relieve the pond owners. Dan announced that although we voted last month to donate to Trees for the Rim and Tonto National Bridge, Dan could not locate an organization that supports the Tonto Natural Bridge. He recommended that all the monies would be donated to the Rim.  He asked if anyone had objections by a show of hands. No one objected. The meeting was turned over to Thom Blischok who introduced Robin Fernald and Jeff Jenkins, two experts who helped design and build the new pond. He explained that last year right after the GPPS meeting at his house, they demolished the old pond to build a bigger and better one.  Some of the features of the new pond are: the large one is 28,000 gallons 50 feet long and 8 feet deep with a 40 foot waterfall. The smaller one is 18,000 gallons 25 feet long and 7 feet deep with a 22-foot waterfall. Thom explained that the water quality is so pure that minus the algae it is as pure as bottled water. He explained the filtering and purifying system in depth. He also has a pool for quarantined Koi before he introduces them into his pond and three hospital pools, for isolation of unhealthy Koi. He also discussed how to de-chlorinate your pond; backwashing filters in the spring; cleaning out mulm and dead matter; how much to feed fish, how to recognize unhealthy fish; adding salt to your pond water; aeration; fall clean-up and preparing your pond for winter and using sand or pea gravel for your pond plants. The meeting adjourned at 11:30 am.