Hand-building a wetland photos

Great to see the kids having fun.

I have a few questions from an outsider’s perspective:

The first photo clearly shows the 26 10′ galvanized metal spikes with washers.

Can anyone explain to me why the spikes are important?

I think that might be helpful for readers to understand why they’re spending extra cash.

Is it to keep your investment in liner and geotextile from washing away in a heavy rain? That explanation makes a lot of sense to me.

Also, can you offer a few words on how adding soil back into the depression is helpful to the animals?

I’m just guessing it’s really all about the wetland plants and creating ample opportunities for that all-important "emergent" vegetation our amphibian friends love.

Another aspect for PVC is I’ve heard that burying it makes it last longer / resist UV longer.

I’d like to add a few words about adding the dirt back in, because like some people might be hesitant to do that extra work, and so many "how to" tutorials on ornamental ponds don’t bother with the geotextile sandwich. (Of course, "ornamental pond" versus "functional wetland" may be key distinctions here).

Also John for the "tools" section I realized we probably need to add a hammer for pounding in the spikes. I might also add that a mattock is super useful for scraping a bowl shaped depression out of clay. Also maybe a rake, if the seeds need to be raked in or the soil leveled? We might say "the minimum you need is a shovel" and then say "other tools that will make the project easier include…"

Finally, for the seeds, where do you plant them? John, I actually ordered some today from the roundstone source. I got an ounce packet.

Would I spread them around the periphery of the pond, or all over it?

Also, would you spread them like grass seed – handheld broadcast spreader, or by hand with sand / baseball field granules mixed in to make dispersal easy? Hopefully there will be instructions on the packet, we’ll see when I get mine. If there are some instructions online, I can add those.

Finally, do people need to wait to fill their wetland, and will they just be waiting for rainwater to fill it up or should they actively add water to it? I assume people should wait, especially if the emergent vegetation seeds need a chance to germinate / establish themselves.



On Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 8:08 PM, Thomas Biebighauser <tombiebighauser> wrote:

Hi Andrea,

I’ve attached some photos showing us building a wetland by hand. This is the first of two messages.



Thomas R. Biebighauser
Wildlife Biologist & Wetland Ecologist
Wetland Restoration and Training LLC
3415 Sugar Loaf Mountain Road
Morehead, KY 40351 USA

(606) 356-4569 cell
(606) 784-6175 home



On Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 8:24 AM, Drayer, Andrea N <andrea.drayer> wrote:

Hi Tom,

The main focus of PARC this year is habitat and SEPARC has decided to work on an online backyard herp habitat project module. John Byrd has been helping with the project and has written up a really nice explanation on how to build your own mini-wetland in your backyard (attached). One of the problems we are running into is having enough pictures of the process of building the habitats to go along with the explanations.

Would you happen to have a few pictures you could send us of the process of building a small wetland? We would greatly appreciate it and would of course acknowledge you as the photographer. I have cc’d John and Tanner Jessel, our web master.


Andrea Drayer

Research Analyst

University of Kentucky

Department of Forestry

T.P. Cooper Building


phone: 859-257-1312


About Tanner Jessel

I am a recent M.S. in Information Science graduate from the University of Tennessee School of Information Science. I was formerly a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth). Prior, I worked for four years as a content lead and biodiversity scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Biodiversity Informatics Program. Building on my work experience in biodiversity and environmental informatics, my work with DataONE focused on exploring the nature of scientific collaborations necessary for scientific inquiry. I also conducted research concerning user experience and usability, and assisted in development of member nodes with an emphasis on spatial data and infrastructure. I assisted with research designed to understand sociocultural issues within collaborative research communities. Through August 1, 2014, I was based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Posted on April 8, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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