Wetland Retention Ponds

On a landscape scale, wetlands serve as filters and overflow basins that safeguard water quality and increase resistance to flooding. Click "Read More" to learn how these concepts are applied within the WISE Project to achieve our 14,000 gallon capacity while cleaning runoff and providing the foundation for an entire ecosystem to be explored!

Natural Wetlands are fragile, important systems that are vital to ecosystem health and must be protected.  However, their structure and function can be replicated in artificial wetland ponds to great advantage when dealing with erosion and water pollution.  Wetlands serve as biofilters, settling areas, and sponges.  They actively process and sequester contaminants and stabilize surges in water flow. Much of the WISE Project's 14,000 gallon capacity is held in the three wetland ponds at the front of our property, next to Hilton Road.


Water draining from the interpretive center's roof, running down the hillside above the center, as well as overflowing from the green roof, the porous pavers, and the eastern half of the sod cells travels through a wooded, meandering ditch to a series of 3 artificial wetland ponds.


The first serves as a shallow detention pool, slowing the water and allowing the largest sediments to settle out. It is diversely planted with wetland plants, grasses, bulrush, and shrubs to maximize drag and provide ample root surface area for bioremediation of nutrient pollution and contaminants.


The final two ponds are deeper and serve to retain as much water as possible before overflowing to the municipal drainage ditch. This allows finer sediments to settle out of the water, infiltration of water into the subsoil and groundwater, and evaporation/evapotranspiration to occur. With average rainfall, very little water overflows from the final pond. Instead the water is used to create rich aquatic and riparian (the transition from water to land) ecosystems - increasing biodiversity and expanding learning opportunities for our visitors!


Properly managed, these ponds keep pests like mosquitos in check through water level fluctuation and a rich food web hosting a diversity of predators like frogs, salamanders, dragonfly larvae, and diving beetles.

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