By Michael Bogart, Garden Manager
For years, before working here, I had walked by the Habitat Pond near the backside of our wavy wall and wondered what it was. It had almost always been a bit wild and unkept and completely out of view. Little did I know, that was the intent!
After joining the team here and getting settled in, I learned it was a habitat learning pond along with surrounding environs. The Marin Master Gardeners have for many years taught elementary school students about life in and around the pond, but since schools resorted to at-home learning
during the pandemic, the pond has had no visitors for a long time. Maintenance in and around the pond dropped to a minimum, and it became unusually wild! Horsetail had become dominant and clogged filters and pumps, weeds had grown from pond’s edge to fence posts and access was difficult because blackberry had become established.
Over the winter, our gardener Tom Frillmann was chatting with the maintenance tech for our water features and took inspiration from his suggestions. Literally and figuratively, Tom jumped right in! He got his waders on and really laid into the horsetail. Another one of our gardeners, Ramona Krucker, joined in and began doing a lot of work on the perennials and natives. We then removed sections of the aging and broken fence and made the area more accessible. Tom repurposed some flagstone and connected the brick path to the pond.
Now, the horsetail is beat back, there is much more room to walk around, the pumps and filters are working. With a little more work and some mosquito fish provided by the county, we welcome more visitors to peek in to see what’s going on.
The next step in the rehabilitation of the Habitat Pond is to connect with our Master Gardeners to collaborate on how best to create the learning environment and complete the work. The ducks that visit seem to like the extra room.