Miller Park Zoo's Pond
As a part of it's ongoing effort to share the joys of ponds, and in the name of community development, the Central Illinois Water
Gardening Club elected to install a pond at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, IL. in a vacant area that had been used for box
turtles.  As a member of the club, I offered to design and head up the installation of the project.  The Zoo provided me with the
dimensions of the site (below left), and with that, as well as a visit to the site itself, I designed the pond.
There were several challenges with this site.  First, the shape was unusual, and more importantly, the finished pond would be
viewable on three sides.  Second, the site sloped up at the back.  Just getting to the site would be difficult, as it was completely
fenced, and the areas around the outside that were not landscaped were minimal.  I decided that a koi pond would be best for
the Zoo because koi can live for many, many years, and with proper care, and in a suitable environment, adults could come to
the Zoo and show their children the fish they saw when they were children themselves.
These pictures are of the original site as you walked in from the main entrance of the Zoo and around the display site
counter-clockwise.  I wanted to make the site interesting from all viewing angles.
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Audio sounds provided by www.Freesound.org
38391- volivieri water flows over rock.wav
72722 - Manuel Calurano - Conversation
between a nightingale and a frog.mp3
Write me at:  pondgal@gridcom.net
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Construction Day
We had two days to complete this project.  Fortunately, the Zoo staff allowed me in a day before the digging began to get the
site marked and bring in materials.  They also provided me with a mini-backhoe and very inexperienced backhoe operators from
the City work force.  It was a nightmare!!  Fortunately, my regular excavator, Mike Evans, came to the rescue and completed
the bulk of the digging with the tiny backhoe we had available and me doing the hand work.
The following day, the pond club volunteers showed up in force and went to work.  Because of the inexperience of the backhoe
operators provided by the City, the integrity of the sides of the pond had been compromised and extra concrete block needed
to be brought in.  The backhoe also wasn't big enough to pull all the extra dirt out of the bottom of the pond, so that had to be
done by hand.  To top it all off, the backhoe provided had a bucket with tines on it (mini-backhoes don't come with smooth
buckets), so the plant shelves were all torn up and needed to be rebuilt with concrete block.  During the final excavation of the
pond by hand and setting of the concrete block, a team was organized to haul excavated dirt up the hill to hide the 2 filter
boxes, set the 2 skimmers, 2 bottom drains, and 2 pumps.
The excavated dirt gets wheeled up to the waterfall area to
hide the filter boxes and build the waterfall.

Below:  Setting the skimmers.
Setting the liner.
We had to unroll the massive liner outside the construction
and hoist it up over the fence post in the center of the site
without disturbing the freshly set concrete blocks on the
interior of the pond.
The Pond Progression
From Left to Right, these pictures give you some idea of what the site looked like from each angle as construction progressed.
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
These were the last pictures I took, which was before the landscaping was done.  I was really thrilled with the way the pond
turned out, as it ended up being visually interesting from every angle.  Maybe I'll get back there some day in all my free time and
take some new photos of the established pond and landscaping. . . .
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