Alexis is transforming her backyard pool into a pond. It has been nothing short of an incredible undertaking! Twelve years ago, Friesen discovered that her backyard pool was attracting some surprising guests like Pacific Chorus Frogs. Being a biologist, she knew that 85 per cent of the Okanagan's wetland habitat has been lost to human development and that frog populations were declining in the Okanagan.
Over many years Friesen nixed the drainage system, levelled the pool with river rock, sculpted the sides with sand bags, filled in the gaps with natural soils and added chlorine-free water. Now, everything from Long-toed Salamanders and garter snakes to Lewis’s Woodpeckers and Great Blue Herons are flocking to the natural habitat. This project just goes to show how important wetland habitats are in all locations!
Aside from the odd trouble-making raccoon, Friesen says her new wetland tenants are low-maintenance and water-efficient. So far, she's invested about $5,000 in the project, and the biologist is not stopping there. Friesen is planning a complete transformation for the half-acre lot, including extra vegetation surrounding the pond and refuge for small species to hide from predators. In time, she also wants to develop a grey water recycling system that would eventually see the grey water filtered by her plants and filling her pond. We are really excited to partner with Alexis and help her with this project!