Storm water ponds can be designed and maintained as positive features in a neighborhood or business park. Consider these tips for maintaining these water quality features as natural ponds to enhance habitat and provide viewing opportunities for bicyclists, walkers, and residents.

  • Plant groups of a particular type of plant for bursts of color for a more manicured, landscaped look. For a more natural look, plant a wildflower mix to resemble a natural setting. Either way, native plants provide cover and food for butterflies, birds, dragonflies, and small animals.
  • Establish a vegetated buffer around the pond. A vegetated buffer provides long root systems that hold the banks in place better than rock or a mowed lawn up to the edge of the pond, can discourage large groups of geese from taking up residence in and around the pond, and captures some sediment and pollutants that would otherwise runoff directly into the pond, prolonging the life of the pond.
  • Add some bays and curves to the pond during design for aesthetics, habitat, and landscaping.
  • Install a walking path or benches near storm water ponds to relax and view wildlife. While the water quality of the pond is probably not something to encourage kids to swim or play in, there are a lot of frogs, turtles, and birds that can be observed near these features.

Click here for additional information on naturalizing existing storm water ponds.

About the Author

Maureen McBroom

Maureen A. McBroom
Environmental Coordinator

Maureen is dedicated to the protection and improvement of Wisconsin’s resources through close collaboration with municipalities and their citizens.  Efficient & effective implementation, driven by strong relationships and communication, are drivers behind her project implementation strategies.  She has experience in the WDNR’s Runoff Program, specifically issuing WPDES Permit coverage for construction site erosion control & long-term storm water plans, industrial storm water sites and municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permittees. Maureen has been with R/M since 2015.

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