Botany Pond Restoration
Every decade or so, the Botany Pond, created 50 years ago by Natalie Van Vleck and her friends in the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club (PVGC), needs to be dredged to restore the healthy ecosystem that Flanders treasures. The PVGC cares for it as the welcoming reward at the top of the Botany Trail, and students who visit Flanders enjoy exploring the pond and finding healthy pond‐life of all shapes and sizes! The Van Vleck Committee planned and executed the dredging project over the course of this year and as of the end of September, the project is complete, thanks to the helping hands of MANY volunteers! In addition to dredging the pond, a new “rock dock” will be enjoyed by visitors of
the Botany Pond.
While we cannot name everyone that engaged in this project, the following heroes deserve special recognition:
• Peter North manned the pumps to empty the pond of its water, while carefully monitoring the goldfish population, so we could remove them permanently from the pond.
• Tom Woodward, retired excavator operator extraordinaire, completed dredging the pond within one day. The results are dramatic, and Tom did an amazing job operating a huge piece of machinery and leaving the site in impeccable condition!
• Two invaluable volunteers assisted with the removal of the goldfish before the pond could be dredged. Steve Gephard of the Connecticut DEEP brought one crew to electro‐fish the pond and Tyler Cremeans, aquaculture teacher at Nonnewaug High School, brought his crew of students to take those goldfish to the high school to be used in their aquaculture projects and studies.
• Kyle Turoczi, Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery & Landcapes, consulted with us from the start on how to accomplish this task to protect the wetlands that surround the pond. Kyle planned the process, secured permits, and donated a huge amount of time and equipment to clear the road for the excavator, assisted with pumping the water out, and placed the silt fencing and silt bags to keep the goldfish from getting into the wetlands.