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Get Your Habitattitude On While Touring Ponds in the Twin Cities

Photo: Upper pond and patio

This weekend, July 30 and 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Minnesota Water Garden Society is hosting its Annual Twin Cities Water Garden Tour. Thirteen private water gardens from Richfield to Rosemont will be open to the public. For the first time, the Society is collaborating with the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program to strengthen efforts to keep water garden plants and animals from escaping into the environment. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 during the tour and children 15 and under are free with a paid adult. Visit the Society's website for tickets, garden descriptions, directions, and a map; or call 612-803-7663 for information.

Gary De Grande, President of the Minnesota Water Garden Society, said, "Our members and the homeowners will be on hand to share their experiences and answer your questions. Visitors will hear not only about building ponds, but also practical advice about pond maintenance, fish care and water gardening in general."

The Minnesota Water Garden Society and Sea Grant support the HabitattitudeTM Collaborative, which is beginning to host fish, aquarium, and plant surrender events across the Great Lakes region. Habitattitude is a nationwide public awareness campaign based on cooperation among the pet and water garden industries, academia, governments and nonprofits to educate the public about the harm of releasing aquatic invasive species (and all pets) into the environment. Habitattitude's "don't release" messages appear on fish bags and elsewhere ... and, this weekend, it will be visible during the Twin Cities pond tour.

Doug Jensen, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator for Minnesota Sea Grant, said, "When pet fish, crayfish, and plants have been accidentally released or they escape into the environment, resulting eradication efforts can cost taxpayers tens-of-thousands of dollars."

Koi, a popular water garden fish and a member of the common carp family, is a non-native species that is often released into the environment. Jensen explained that released koi prey on eggs of native fish and greatly increase water turbidity by stirring up the bottom sediment when feeding, which leave waterways murky and unattractive.

Minnesota Sea Grant, based at the University of Minnesota, works to enhance Minnesota's waterways and economy through scientific research and public education programs. Minnesota Sea Grant is part of the National Sea Grant Program, with 33 coastal offices in the U.S. managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Sea Grant is now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Minnesota Water Garden Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the enjoyment and enthusiasm for water gardening through promotion, education and shared experiences.

Posted on July 25, 2016


This page last modified on July 25, 2016     © 1996 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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