By Eric Triplett
We at The Pond Digger Waterscape Design & Construction do a lot of our business locally, and we’ve always found value and satisfaction in giving back to the communities we serve.
Back in 2002, we started Ponds for Schools, a curriculum-based program in which we work with administrators, teachers and students to set up “outdoor waterscape classrooms” for use throughout the year. This enables teachers to expand their lesson plans into the great outdoors, and we’ve heard about pond-side classes in science, social studies, art and a variety of other disciplines where our compact ecosystems can be used to help students see and understand a given subject.
We work with any interested schools – public or private, from elementary to college-level – donating our time and labor and providing pond systems at cost. And now the program has become established enough that pond-system suppliers sometimes donate all of the equipment and materials, which is absolutely great and takes the pressure off schools to raise money or seek grants to fund the project.
As you’ll see in the video linked below, we do all we can to encourage student participation in the nitty-gritty of the project, from digging the hole to spreading rocks and learning the ins and outs of setting up skimmer boxes. The kids are great, our crew gets into it and we do an awesome amount of positive bonding during the day-long installation process.
It’s good for us, it’s great for the students and it’s fantastic for local schools – and, I believe, an idea that can be picked up in communities across the country. Go for it!
To see Ponds for Schools in action in Redlands, Calif., click here.
Eric Triplett is founder and chief executive officer at The Pond Digger Waterscape Design & Construction in Yucaipa, Calif. He may be reached at [email protected] ponddigger.com.