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...see how things changed!

How it looked in 2002 And how it changed by 2006

Looking back four years on this project takes my breath away.  Some things I can't remember and some things I don't want to remember!  As an example, twenty-five years ago, I removed over seven hundred rail ties from a railroad side track locally, and re-installed them in my landscape.  What a job that was! And now I am removing them (over a four-year period)... It took many days of removal and two large trucks to haul them away.

This wasn't your average "lets dig a pond" project. During this project we removed many tons of clay and hauled in many more tons of good black dirt. And, don't forget, over two hundred and forty tons of boulders.  All imported from Minnesota - two hundred miles north.

There was a small culvert across the ravine, which was about 20 feet long with about three feet of dirt on top of it. During the project we had lengthened the culvert by twenty more feet and placed over eight feet of dirt on top of it.  It turned out to be a great dirt storage area!

The steps for building a pond or a stream are the same:


1) Create a design to fit the intended location.  It helps to do this step on a piece of paper.  Correcting errors will be easier!
2) Ensure there are no buried utilities or other obstacles where you are constructing.  Look overhead - be aware of overhead obstacles such as power lines or tree limbs.
3) Gather any eager friends or family and have plenty of hand tools for them. Bummer if you have no friends.
4) Go over the plan with your construction crew to be sure everybody knows what they are doing.
5) Layout the outline of your pond or stream using paint, garden hose, sticks, or any other method that makes sense.
7) Excavate the area and clear all sharp objects from the area.
8) Review necessary grade or slope for streams or level the edges of the pond.
9) Determine the width and length of underlayment and pond liner.
10) If you already purchased these items you may need to adjust your excavation to fit these materials.  If you have not yet purchased, follow the sizing guide lines later in this article.
11) Install underlayment.
12) Install liner and do not crease liner to follow curves or bends in your design.  The underlayment and liner should be large enough to cover the excavation without folds or creases.
13) As you begin to fill your newly laid liner with water, carefully fan out folds and creases to be as fold free as possible.  There will be many folds and creases when you are completely filled with water. 
14) Carefully cover all folds and creases with rocks or other covering to prevent potential sharp objects from entering a fold or crease.
15) Leave a generous amount of liner at the top edges of the stream or pond to provide anchor surface for the pond or stream edge of your choice.

Most important: Have fun with each step and take plenty of pictures.

Read on, and be sure to use the "slideshow" selection for viewing the show.

 Installing the plumbing, or "You have to start somewhere" Minimize


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