One homeowner describes her backyard pond as “peaceful and calming. I love the sound of the water, and I love sitting out here in the morning.” Another homeowner proudly displays three ponds built over the last 10 years on her rural property. Two ponds are filled with large koi that recognize her shadow and gather at the water’s edge to be fed.

These enthusiasts will gush over their paradises during the Parade of Ponds Tour this weekend, sponsored by the Northern Iowa Koi and Pond Club. A different set of ponds will be featured each day for a total of 20 locations, along with water features at Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

The event takes place rain or shine from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets will be sold at all ponds for $10 per person or $15 for two people, good for both days. Children younger than 12 are free. A raffle is planned. Proceeds will benefit Angels Park Memorial Island in Evansdale.

Featured ponds on Saturday are: 3225 Highway D65, Dysart; 101 Whitetail Ridge and 404 Rosebay Lane, both in Hudson; 24851 W. Ave., Reinbeck; 25958 K Ave., Grundy Center; 205 Vernon St., Conrad; and 19183 F Ave., 200 N. Washington St., 302 N. Adams St., and 501 W. Fourth St., all in Wellsburg.

Sunday’s featured ponds are 884 Juniper Drive, 120 Lowder Road, 351 Thorson Ave., 411 Westbourne Road, 157 Pershing Road and 414 Home Park Blvd., all in Waterloo; 311 Angie Drive, 219 Angie Drive, 1523 Brookside Drive and 4129 Sable Lane, all in Cedar Falls.

The arborteum, 1927 E. Orange Road, will be open both days.

Surrounded by tumbling stones, lantana, zebra grass, daylilies and garden décor, the 4,000-gallon pond at 404 Rosebay Lane in Hudson was built 21 years ago and has been recently renovated with new underlayment, liner, and filtration and pumping system. “Our earlier version was a DIY project,” says the homeowner. “I’d suggest anyone who wants to build a big pond have it done by a professional.”

Whether the project is large or small, the relaxing sound of water is one layer in creating a serene retreat. With the availability of materials, filtration systems and supplies, as well as plant material, it’s easier than ever to design, install and maintain a water feature, say club members.

At a farm in rural Reinbeck, visitors are welcomed by the sight and sound of a pair of ponds on a slope near the driveway. A third pond is located in front of the house. “We struggled with weeds for years on the slope, and I decided ponds would be easier. There’s a little something to do every week, but we really enjoy them,” the homeowner said.

A pondless waterfall intrigues visitors to the CV Arboretum and Botanic Garden as they step through the entrance. Planted with sumac, a pair of magnolia trees, and other perennials, the low-maintenance and energy-efficient water feature brings the sound of water into a small or urban landscape.

There is a pond located deeper in the garden and a reflecting pool in the children’s garden.

Club members will be available at pond locations during the tour to answer questions.

The Northern Iowa Pond and Koi Club, established in 1999, is a nonprofit organization. The club promotes the hobbies of ponds and aquatic gardening and keeping koi and goldfish, and includes educational and social activities. The membership includes Waterloo and Cedar Falls and surrounding communities.

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