Project Eden seeks to restore broken ecosystems. Our first pond restoration project was at the Grace Church pond along 146th Street. In 2014, we are restoring the east side of the pond. We hope to restore the south side in 2015 and the rest of the pond in 2016.
Most ponds in Indiana, particularly suburban retention ponds, are broken ecosystems. The water is polluted with turf grass herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. The heavy, direct runoff of rainwater from nearby streets and parking lots causes bank erosion, and dry periods often expose ugly, lifeless shorelines. Few plants and wildlife can live in the pond and along the slopes and shorelines.
The restoration process involves re-creating three types of habitats. We replace the turf grass on the slopes with native upland prairie plants, such as Purple Coneflower and Little Bluestem. Along the shoreline we install wetland plants, including Swamp Milkweed and Blue Flag Iris. In the shallow areas of the pond next to the shoreline, we plant a mix of aquatic plants, such as Lake Sedge and Arrowhead. We use augurs to plant prairie plant seeds through some of the dead turf grass on the upland slope. Small plugs of 2000 native plants will be dug into the rest of the east section of the pond slopes, shoreline, and aquatic shelf. Temporary fences will protect the new plantings from geese.
- Homes will be created for God’s creatures, including native aquatic insects, dragonflies, butterflies, fish, frogs, turtles, and birds. Biodiversity and natural habitat will be restored.
- The water quality of the pond will be improved through filtering by the native plants, and will reduce need for chemical inputs on the property.
- The area will be much more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. This can help stimulate wonder and awe of God and His creation.
- Labor and gasoline costs of mowing will be reduced, and costs of fertilizers and chemicals for the former turf grass will be eliminated.
- Air and water pollution will be lessened.
- The banks of the pond will be stabilized, eliminating erosion.
- Participants at Grace and people from the community will see the benefits of restoration and some may be motivated to restore ponds in their neighborhoods and elsewhere.