FROGS Tour – November 7, 2013

Commissioner Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson, Jeff Montgomery, and Marilyn Tubbs led a group of hearty FROGS on a tour of Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, and Kanapaha Middle School to gain insight into the range of possible designs that might be considered in the restoration of Glen Springs.   The management of water plays an important role in all three sites.    The first stop was the retention pond behind the Home Depot retail outlet on Route 441.  Since the physical structure of the building together with the parking lot lies on the site of the original site of the headwaters, the retention pond  now serves as the headwaters of Hogtown Creek.


The first stop was the lovely Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park.

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Once in the woods, we came upon a small stream that might be thought of as the first location, where observable flow occurs for Hogtown Creek.   In the second photo below Hutch is explaining that the dead tree is actually a long leaf pine.



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The next stop was the Kanapaha Botoanical Gardens.  While strolling through the woods behind Home Depot, someone kicked up a hornet’s nest and just about all of us got stung.   One individual got it on the nose.  Another near the eye.  Since no one had a first aid kit handy, we were only able to get medical attention at the Kanapaha Botoanical Gardens.  Below you will find Don Goodman (who knows only too well about injuries induced by wildlife) providing medical assistance.  These Gardens represent the high end of what might be considered at Glen Springs.   For example, at 9:00AM each morning the pumps are turned on and the waterfall becomes a gusher as an additional 250 gallons of water are pumped.  This water flows over 4 different waterfalls.  While the system was originally designed with a timer system, mechanical difficulties now require someone to turn the system on manually.  In the second photo below you can see Don explaining that about 70,000 gallons a day are pumped.  Since water disappears due to transpiration and evaporation, an additional 45,000 gallons/day have to be added to the system.


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The next group of photos show the ponds, bridges, waterfalls and streams elegantly spliced to make Kanapaha enjoyable.  Bruce Morgan indicates he is proud of the waterfall he helped design.  Hutch remarked that the 3rd waterfall is the look we would like to have for Glen Springs.  The 4th pond had to be plugged with concrete.

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The large pond in the next photos is stocked with Asian grass carp, who are useful because they help keep the duckweed under control.  Sometimes these creatures grow to a length of 3-6 feet in length.  Blue gill have also been added to the mix because fresh water muscles require these fish as a host in their development cycle.

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After the tour of the Gardens, we visited Kanapaha Middle School, where GRU has put together a project of settling ponds to filtrate the nitrates out of the soil.  Jennifer noted that while this system of ponds does an excellent job filtering out nitrates, it is does not do so well filtering phosphorus.  Note the massive solar array on the roof of the school in the first photo and the large retention pond in the last.


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Post and photos by Dave Wilson