Pond Plantings

While the Arboretum exhibits a wide variety of significant wildlife and natural habitats, it lacked one important ecosystem, a full-sun wildlife pond. Town staff and committee members considered an area southeast of the Taylor Road parking lot close to an existing trail a prime location to excavate a pond. Design of the wildlife pond focused on two primary elements. First it should be designed to create a natural environment attractive to local flora and fauna, and second act as an educational tool, such that visitors might learn from our experience and be able to develop a similar ecosystem. Preliminary survey work was completed in 1991, and a Notice of Intent was filed with the Conservation Commission to obtain permission to work in a wetland. Plant species in the immediate area were inventoried and excavation began. Some of these plants included flag iris, cat of nine tails, winterberry, tupelo as well as other plants that don't object to wet feet. In the spring of 1994, work began on the final stage, the planting plan. Involved in the pond planting design were two girl scouts as part of their Gold Awards program (equivalent to Eagle Scout in boy scouts.) Mamie Wytrwa, our resident landscape architect, developed an educational experience that helped the girls learn some elementary principles of landscape and garden design. The goal of their design was to replicate the natural edge of a pond and create diverse wildlife habitat. The girls helped design and plant the pond; thus receiving their Gold Awards.