Washington Evening Journal
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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2017

Foster Woods Pond improvements completed

Oct 02, 2017
This pond at Foster Woods park near Wellman is undergoing a complete reconstruction. All that remains is for the pond to be filled from natural sources.

By John Butters. The JOURNAL

 

With all the earth moving work completed, all that remains of the Foster Woods Park improvement project is the addition of water. About 1.5 acres of water.

Steve Anderson, Executive Director of the Washington County Conservation Board, said the park will soon be ready for visitors.

“The only part of the project left is a planned picnic shelter to be constructed near the pond,” he said.

Originally built in 1966, the small acreage was a bequest from the foster family. Locted south of Wellman, the pond was popular with North County residents as a picnic and fishing spot.

Over time, the pond proved to be too shallow and stagnant to sustain aquatic life. Additionally, underbrush clogged the woods making them impassible. Eventually, the trees and bruch encroached upon the pond turning it into a soggy mess.

After several community meetings in 2015, the board was encouraged by residents to undertake a renovation of the pond that would include creating a better fishing habitat.

The work began by cutting back the woods’ understory and clearing the woods from the hillside surrounding the pond. The land was then seeded to create a prarie that would separate the pond from the wooded area.

To improve water quality for gamefish, the pond was drained and deepened, and a larger culvert was installed in the dike to facilitate water movement. Concrete structures have been placed in the pond’s bed to provide fish with nesting and incubating sites.

To improve access to the park, a small parking lot has been added and a trail around the pond has been constructed.

The project also created jetties stretching into the pond for future anglers.

Anderson said the construction of the shelter would complete the project.

Anderson said the pond would fill from the 10-acre watershed surrounding it.

“Typically, in Iowa, it takes about a year to fill a pond. It all depends upon the size of the pond and the amount of rainfall,” he said.

Stocking the pond with fish is also weather-dependent. It could happen as soon as this fall, he said.

“We need six vertical feet of water to stock the pond. The fish are going to be small,so they don’t need a lot of depth. But fish could not survive the winter with less water than that, he said.

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