From The Blog

KICA’s Pond-edge Pruning Initiative Restarts in November

KICA’s ongoing pond pruning project restarts next week and will continue through the cooler months. With this project, which started initially in 2019, the Lakes Management team is focusing on cutting back overgrowth at pond edges and restoring sunlight to the pond banks. The increased sunlight promotes grassy growth that helps to filter runoff and control erosion far better than overgrown shrubs.

This work is done carefully by an experienced arborist, who specializes in lifting canopies and doing proactive trimming in an aesthetically pleasing way. Debris in the ponds will be removed, as well as plants and limbs at a 45° angle or less to a pond’s surface (those items that will fall in and become debris in the future). Afterward, the surrounding area is strategically opened to sunlight and airflow.

Sunlight improves pond health by creating the conditions for better oxygenation and helps restore the community of beneficial bacteria to the pond. Airflow reduces stagnation and circulates oxygen throughout the pond, resulting in more efficient breakdown of the leaf debris that does reach the pond. These healthy actions help to prevent several undesirable outcomes: algal growth and fish kills, among others. The newly-pruned pond edges not only allow members to enjoy the sight but also invite back wading birds, like egrets and herons. Increasing the wildlife benefit is a cascade effect, where more activity equals increasingly healthier ponds.

Because this project is a long-range improvement known as a Landscape Capital Improvement, it is funded out of KICA’s reserve budget, rather than in the operations budget where general pond maintenance is budgeted. (Learn more about KICA budgeting here.)

The first ponds on the list are 111 and 112, located at the entrance to the Preserve neighborhood on either side of Blue Heron Pond Road. This work will start on Monday, Nov. 14 and is expected to take 5-6 days to complete. Work will take place during commercial access hours only. KICA’s contractor will utilize hand crews, chainsaws, boats, a mini bobcat and a wood chipper and chip truck. If you have questions or concerns about this project, you may reach KICA project manager and Lakes Department supervisor Matt Hill at 843-768-2315 or [email protected].