Aquascape donates design and labor to create an ecosystem pond for Batavia High School

  • Ed Beaulieu, Abbey Piwowarczyk, and Eleni Salas give a thumbs-up after a productive day of construction of an ecosystem pond in the courtyard of Batavia High School.

    Ed Beaulieu, Abbey Piwowarczyk, and Eleni Salas give a thumbs-up after a productive day of construction of an ecosystem pond in the courtyard of Batavia High School. Courtesy of Aquascape

 
 
Posted11/15/2021 7:45 PM

Aquascape donated their expertise and labor to help the Batavia High School Ecology Club build a beautiful ecosystem pond in the campus courtyard.

Ed Beaulieu, vice president of field research and contractor development for Aquascape Inc., designed the pond and led students, staff, and volunteers during the build on Oct. 8-9.

 

The shallow, elongated pond modeled after the Fox River stretches across a 30-by-10-foot space.

Beaulieu included an intake bay in the pond's design to simplify the maintenance; students in the vocational track plan to take on maintenance responsibilities to complement their learning curriculum. The city of Batavia donated limestone, recycled from a building teardown, to create a border for the water feature.

Massive logs helped naturalize the feature and had to be muscled in through the school's library (the only point of access on the construction site) by volunteers and Batavia firefighters.

"Sponsor of the Ecology Club, Elizabeth Faulhaber, reached out to us last year asking for help on ideas for a pond, and I couldn't resist volunteering my efforts for the design and construction process," says Beaulieu. "Our challenge was working with a new group of students every few hours as they rotated through the construction process with our technical team. Fortunately, two incredible young ladies stayed the entire build and led by example. Rather than me teaching each new group how to dig properly, place rocks, and backfill voids with river rock, Abbey Piwowarczyk and Eleni Salas, both seniors, demonstrated all of the proper steps to their peers."

The Ecology Club members hope this tranquil water garden will provide a relaxing environment where students can congregate and socialize.

Aside from its aesthetic and leisurely benefits, the pond also serves as an outdoor classroom for science courses.

Special education students also will benefit from the alternate classroom environment.

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