The Adopt-A-Pond program partners with communities to improve the water quality, wildlife habitat and appearance of stormwater ponds. The program guides residents through the initial steps to help them learn how to properly care for their pond for the long term.
The five environmental professionals on the judging panel observed that Osprey Place Pond had a great variety of plants in and around the water.
“They loved the mixture of grasses and ground cover plants between the pond and the neighboring wetland,” said Osprey Place resident and project organizer, John Jackson. “These plants are great for encouraging birds and other wildlife to use the pond and for preventing the shoreline from washing away.”
In addition to the first-place judging award, Osprey Place also received third place in the fan favorite pond competition.
For winning the best-maintained pond competition, the group will receive its choice of an additional order of plants in the coming year or a park bench.
The award was announced Dec. 22 by Jennifer Aragon, Adopt-A-Pond environmental scientist for the Hillsborough County Public Works Department.
On several occasions, neighbors gathered to set several varieties of plantings around the pond, with the advice and encouragement of Aragon. After each planting session, Jackson hosted a backyard barbecue.
When the Osprey Place group joined the Adopt-A-Pond program only three years ago, the pond had very few plants and had major shoreline issues. Some of the sides of the pond were steep in several areas, and they were starting to cave in.
Now that the pond has a healthy variety of plants, the shoreline issues have improved, Jackson notes. In addition to improving the pond’s health and appearance, he said, “the pond has become a bird paradise for all to enjoy.”