Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let It Begin With Me

This evening I had the pleasure of taking part in the inaugural meeting of the Greenbrook/Brightside Adopt-A-Pond project. A small but enthusiastic group of residents from the neighborhood met with a stormwater ecologist to learn a little about our lake and what we can do to make it even better.

We learned that our pond is part of two local watersheds, Sweetwater Creek and Rocky Brushy Creek. It's a stormwater drainage pond, which means that it's mainly fed by stormwater runoff. Stormwater ponds serve several purposes, including helping to manage water and avoid flooding nearby houses, as well as filtering out pollutants and trash before it can reach the waters of Tampa Bay.

Because we live on a stormwater pond, there are a lot of rules and regulations we'll have to follow as we begin cleanup and planting. Fortunately, we'll have the assistance of the Hillsborough County Adpot-A-Pond program as we begin our project. They'll help us plan what will be best for the pond and our community, as well as provide us with free plants (how cool is that?). In return, we as residents will provide the labor and enthusiasm needed to make the project work.

We're so excited to be part of this project. The Adopt-A-Pond website shows other ponds throughout the county that have been adopted and improved - it's incredible! Our Florida-Friendly mindset fits in perfectly with this program, and it's amazing to imagine what other kinds of wildlife we may be able to bring to our little piece of Florida.

If you live in the neighborhood and would like to get involved, send an email to Paula at The next step will be an education meeting where we make plans, followed by the actual work of cleaning up and planting our pond. Join us as we make the pond in My Florida Backyard a better place for all of us!

P.S. I spotted a new batch of ducklings walking home from the meeting this evening. After my rather depressing experience earlier this spring, I'm not going to get too attached this time, but they are darn cute.

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