Water-Related News

Help is available for neighborhood pond maintenance

Free Workshops for Residents; CEUs for Professionals

FORT MYERS, FL, February 2, 2015 – Thousands of us in Southwest Florida enjoy a beautiful, stress-free lake view from our lanais. Watching wading birds and ducks is both soothing and enjoyable, but for many who volunteer on home/condo owner association boards, the stress levels rise when trying to maintain these common areas.

What does a healthy pond look like?

  • Are algae bad?
  • What type of plants should we add to our ponds?
  • Do we need to reserve funds to dredge our pond?

  • Help is available. Area experts will conduct a workshop around town to help homeowners, association boards, Community Development District (CDD) representatives, landscape committee members, and others learn ways to extend the lives of their stormwater ponds between dredging events, as well as how to use native plants to beautify their ponds and attract desirable wildlife. Presenters will include Karen Bickford, TMDL Coordinator with Lee County Natural Resources; Dr. Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, Pond Watch Coordinator with Lee County Hyacinth Control District; Dr. Serge Thomas, Aquatic Ecologist Assistant Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University; and other water quality experts.

    The next workshop will be offered at Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium in the Iona House, 3450 Ortiz Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33905, on Friday, February 20, from 1-4 pm. More dates are available at www.WetPlan.org.

    Continuing Education Credits are offered:
    1. CORE CEU
    2. AQU/PVT CEUs
    3. CEUs maxmum

    The workshop is free, but preregistration is suggested. Complimentary refreshments will be offered. For more information or to register, please visit www.WetPlan.org or call (239) 273-8945.

    WETPLAN or Watershed Education Training - Ponds, Lakes & Neighborhoods is an education program and resource for anyone interested in improving and caring for their neighborhood lakes and ponds. The program provides workshops several times a year with a panel of experts and assistance for home/condo owners associations and individuals upon request. WETPLAN is a partnership of water quality and lake management experts including members from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, the City of Bonita Springs, Lee County Natural Resources, Lee County Hyacinth Control District, Florida Gulf Coast University, Lee County Extension Services, the Florida Native Plant Society, and private partners including Conestoga-Rovers & Associates and Kimley-Horn.