The response to the announcement last month of the launch of the Healthy Pond Collaborative created by the major grant from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation has been very gratifying. Over twenty different communities have contacted START or one of the other partners in the collaborative to request an assessment of the health of their stormwater ponds. By the end of October, we already had visited and advised eight communities how to help improve the appearance and efficiency of their ponds.
Members of the Healthy Pond Collaborative (HPC) include START, the Sarasota County NEST Program, the University of Florida IFAS Sarasota Extension and the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida. The objectives of the HPC are to help neighborhoods understand how to properly manage their stormwater ponds to prevent costly erosion and unsightly algal growth and to help fund the aquatic plants that are necessary for a successful pond enhancement program.
While this year’s planting season is coming to a close, it is still important to contact the HPC now to schedule a pond visit so you can qualify for advice and funding for the 2022 planting season this coming spring. You can do that by contacting Sandy Gilbert with START at firstname.lastname@example.org.