Construction of a Table-land Pond

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Adopt-A-Pond, with generous funding provided by Symcor Inc, took part in the construction of a unique table-land pond on the Zoo’s property.  The pond will act as important breeding habitat for Gray Treefrogs and is unique as it’s not in a place you usually would find a pond.

Ponds generally are found in low laying areas and are feed by groundwater. Building a wetland with a groundwater source and a high water table can be easy as digging to expose the available water underneath the soil. However, the Zoo’s pond is high above the groundwater table, on top of the tablelands in the Rouge Valley. When constructing a wetland above the water table, water will only be supplied by surface run-off and precipitation. The method of construction is largely determined by the soil.

Generally, clay soils will hold water whereas sandy soil will not. At the Zoo we discovered that our pond was going to be on sandy, permeable soil so a water holding liner was needed. If you have clay soils you can construct a wetland without a liner.

First, the Zoo’s horticultural team dug a hole to hold enough water to last for the majority of the summer. Next, our crew of conservationist including Nia of ECOexecutives, Mary Kate of the Great Lakes Program, Crystal, Shannon and Julia of Adopt-A-Pond and fall interns Paul and Brandon all pitched in to stretch landscape cloth and a very heavy rubber liner across the newly dug hole. To help stabilize the bank and speed up the naturalization process the pond was finished off with a layer of soil, straw with a wetland seed mix and a few wetland shrubs.

This pond will act as an ephemeral pool drying up in the late summer. Ephemeral ponds (vernal pools) are important for many of Ontario’s reptiles and amphibians because they act as a safe place for eggs, tadpoles and larval to develop without the fear of predators such as fish and colonial waterfowl.

If you would like to create a natural pond on your property and need more information contact: Adopt-A-Pond for resources and funding opportunities.