TEAM Aquascape worked with Coyote Peterson of Brave Wilderness to create an Aquascape ecosystem pond for native turtles at the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center, April 28-29. In less than two days, the Aquascape team and Ed Beaulieu, Aquascape vice president of field research and contractor development who vlogs at Ed The Pond Professor on YouTube, constructed an indoor pond for threatened and endangered species of turtles. The water feature exhibit is open to the public on weekends.
Together, TEAM Aquascape and Ed The Pond Professor designed the indoor pond. The water feature project required 5,000 pounds of weathered stone and 1,000 pounds of river rock. A 7-by-14-foot structural wall supporting the pond is 2 ½ feet tall so patrons of the wildlife center can easily view the exhibit and interact with the turtles inhabiting it. AquaBlox® Water Storage Modules beneath the system provide structural support for the boulders in the pond and alleviate pressure on the floor below.
“There’s nothing like transforming an ordinary corner of a nature center into a fully functioning aquatic ecosystem! We incorporated driftwood elements and even a tree stump to naturalize this habitat for the Midland painted, map, and Blanding’s turtles,” says Ed Beaulieu. “A variety of aquatic plantings help soften the boulders and add height to the waterfall. I loved working alongside and learning from Coyote during this project.”
A mutual alma matter helped spark this collaboration between Aquascape and Peterson. Founder and CEO of Aquascape, Inc., Greg Wittstock, first met Peterson through their Ohio State University connection. Talks of designing and building a snapping turtle pond eventually developed into creating this unique indoor turtle habitat for the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center.
“It was a pleasure working with my fellow Ohio State Buckeye, Greg, and the rest of the talented Aquascape team,” says Coyote Peterson. “This incredible conservation project was quite the undertaking, but Aquascape did a phenomenal job creating an ecosystem for these native turtles.”