Building a Larger Pond for Wildlife

Large wildlife pond, Summer 2022

We had a large empty flat space, which originally held an old chicken coop and a flat yard area next to it. I wanted to build a larger wildlife pond, further away from the house. (This pond actually helped us a great deal after the Bobcat Fire, giving me water to take care of a number of baby trees.) The area chosen was at the base of a hillside, perfect for a large pond as well as becoming a future downhill catchall for water… The entire space, save for a lovely young Mimosa Tree, was wide open with nothing growing around it.

A large tree trunk had fallen on its side during a storm, and this gave me the basis of using it to lay along the side of the future pond. Along the hillside, concrete blocks had been placed to build a wall, which gave me a great basis for the pond as well.

The hole dug is about 15 feet long by 10 feet wide. One end is about 30″ deep and the other comes up as a shallow. Once the hole had been dug out, I decided to build an island in the center. This would allow me to fill it with much less water, but also provide additional growing edges for the pond. It took quite a while to tame the liner and fill the pond, which I allowed Nature to do slowly over the Winter…

Once the pond was full enough, I needed to build soil up around it while I worked on stabilizing the outline. This took a great deal of time and reworking.

As the pond was wide open to the Sun, I also needed to begin building shade systems around it. This is ongoing, as once a shade system is created, I can build further upon that.

On the left is the tree-trunk from earlier in this post, which I used to build up one side with trellis and branches for shade.

Below is a photo taken after a couple seasons, with a nice assortment of plants added. The pond is a life source for all kinds of beneficial insects, birds, and wildlife that travels through… Coyotes, cats, birds, squirrels and more visit the pond.

Current view of the pond, with some shade systems added… This is becoming its own system, a micro-climate within a barren landscape. More to come as I expand on this area…

Large wildlife pond as of August, 2022., with additional plants around it, and more shade systems being built.