Custom backyard pond design & installation services in the Twin Cities, including Minneapolis.
The addition of a freshwater pond to your home can have great benefits both for your family and the environment; especially as freshwater habitats are in decline around the country. Pollution and land development have greatly diminished the number of freshwater ponds available for wildlife, and creating a home for them in your backyard will help local ecoculture. A backyard pond will also provide an entertaining and educational setting for your family.
Local Wildlife Benefits of a Backyard Pond
No matter what the size of your pond, it can be beneficial to a variety of animals in your area. Insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, crustaceans, and even small mammals will all benefit from having a freshwater habitat. Amphibians, who have seen dramatic declines worldwide, need more freshwater ponds for breeding and living. Creating a small pond in your backyard could have a tremendous positive impact on your local environment.
When installing a pond, keep the following traits in mind to make sure it can be of maximum benefit for local wildlife:
1. Include a shallow portion – this will benefit both amphibians and birds that wade or bathe.
2. Include a diverse range of plants, growing both on the edge of the pond and in the water itself. Having a large number of plants offers shelter, food, and protection for all pond-dwelling creatures.
Include some branches, large pieces of bark, and rocks along the pond’s edge. These will help provide cover for smaller animals living near your pond.
3. Make sure the plants you choose are native to Minnesota. This will ensure that they will have the maximum positive impact to local wildlife.
Food Permaculture Benefits of a Backyard Pond
Even a small pond can help improve conditions for permaculture if you are practicing, or interested in trying. Ponds can help regulate temperature and create microclimates that are beneficial for any edible plants growing in your yard. Some of these edible plants can even be grown directly in the pond.
The following is a short list of some pond-based edible plants:
• Wild Rice – a versatile food source for both people and livestock.
• Lotus – edible for people, attracts beneficial insects, excellent cover for fish.
• Wapato – a food source for both people and livestock, and attracts beneficial insects.
• Cattail – excellent for water filtration and helpful as cover for small or younger fish.
• Pond Lily – edible for people, attracts beneficial insects, excellent cover for fish.
Water Permaculture Benefits of a Backyard Pond
Besides the ecological benefits, having a pond in your backyard has practical uses. In case of emergency, a well-maintained pond can serve as a fresh water source. It can also help drainage in your yard, providing an outlet for run-off. Having a permanent freshwater source will also regulate the climate in your yard, creating a microclimate beneficial to growing edible plants.
A Backyard Pond Offers Educational Value
Nothing is better than hands-on learning, and having a freshwater pond where you and your children can observe the daily interaction between a variety of animals will have an invaluable impact on their environmental education. Your family will be able to observe a variety of animals grow through their entire reproductive cycle, providing an excellent understanding of natural life.