Big Cat Rescue is Greener (and the lake is bluer)
Our lake was too high in nutrients and looked green, so we called our good friend, Kevin Atkins to ask what could be done to set nature back in balance.
The concept was conceived, facilitated and implemented by Biological Research Associates staff, and the roughly 2,000 plants were also provided by Biological Research Associates. Those directly involved were Kevin Atkins, Senior Ecologist, and Chuck Pons and Rick Gross, Senior Mitigation Specialists. Also key to the project was Chris Joiner, who manages the installation crew of five plant installers who participated in the planting, and who was responsible for procuring and transporting the plant materials.
The intent of the plantings is to provide a biological method for nutrient uptake in the pond to assist in maintaining water quality, to abate and safeguard against shoreline erosion, and to provide shoreline habitat enhancement, as well as aesthetic enhancement for the water feature. The native wetland plant species should fill out the littoral zone edge of the pond over the next few months and persist potentially indefinitely.
The selected species are intended to grow in the emergent zone just below the water and slightly above the water, and will require no maintenance. They will help to filter stormwater runoff into the pond and provide cover, feeding and breeding areas for fish, turtles, waterfowl and wading birds. The indigenous plant species used were: pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), golden canna (Canna flaccida) and gulf coast spikerush (Eleocharis cellulosa). Periodically, these plants will produce purple and yellow flowers along the pond’s periphery, and should attract more native aquatic fauna and bird life to the sanctuary.
The plants look a bit scattered and non-vigorous initially, but should spread rapidly and be quite attractive in just a few months, without needing any maintenance, or spreading where not needed. It is possible the swans and ducks may be hard on them, but if they can get established, they should form a lush edge zone and do just fine. This is sure to attract more native wading birds attracted to the pond fairly soon.
“So, we are glad the effort came together without any problems, and it is our fondest hope that the plants will flourish, greatly improve the attractiveness of the pond focal feature, provide edge habitat, and help to improve the water quality at least a little bit for no cost. Thanks, again, for allowing this opportunity to happen, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that you, your staff and patrons, and the kitties all will find a pleasant environmental improvement within just a few months.” says Kevin Atkins.
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