The Earth Charter in Action: Lazy Duck Pond

The Earth Charter in Action: Lazy Duck Pond

Today we wanted to highlight a great story from an Earth Charter volunteer about how she incorporated the Earth Charter into her life. This is from Sue Gould of Land O'Lakes, Florida:

Lazy Duck Pond before Adopt-A-Pond project. Torpedo grass choked the pond, reduced oxygen, and increased plant sedimentation in the water, contributing to a severe algae bloom.
One year after pond adoption, the pond is clear with many fish, frogs, and freshwater shrimp. Water quality is excellent.

The Earth Charter really can make a difference in your life – and following the Earth Charter Principles continues to bring more and more benefits. I learned this from working with my Land O’ Lakes, Florida, neighbors over the past year.

My neighbors and I have taken good care of the environment by adopting a neglected pond (Principle Five – see photos and article below), and we have also built a strong, on-going community relationship (Principle Fifteen). We now know each other well enough to reach out with friendship and assistance in a wide variety of situations.

And the benefits keep spreading. Many folks not directly connected to our pond, including other Earth Charter people, have worked with us on the pond project – and recently, a neighboring group adopted a new storm water pond.

St. Petersburg Times correspondent Arleen Spenceley provided a wonderful summation of our experience in her June 7, 2007, article, published on the occasion of the “first birthday celebration” of the Lazy Duck Pond project, excerpts reproduced here:

On the last Saturday in May, Gould and others involved with Adopt-A-Pond Pasco held a "planting day" and put in cypress and holly trees, along with various aquatics and shrubs around the shoreline. Afterward, they held a potluck dinner to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their adoption of the pond.

Before the group stepped in, the pond wasn't much to look at. Torpedo grass nearly covered it. The cattails couldn't be stopped and the algae stayed in full bloom. Grass islands, one topped with a tree, floated freely.

"Along with a healthy pond is beauty, and cleaner water and happier fish," said Gould, who embraces the Earth Charter, an internationally recognized set of principles for obtaining a sustainable future for the planet. "I'm going to live my life according to the guidelines of the Earth Charter, and one of them is to help improve the environment."

In addition to enhancing property values and helping the environment, group members say the pond adoption experience has been beneficial in other ways.

"The Lazy Duck Pond group (became) a very close-knit community," Brandt said. "It's really important to have strong community ties because you never know when you're going to need your neighbor."

"I think the bonding we've done because of this has been the biggest blessing out of the whole deal," she said. "It's amazing what a group of neighbors can get done when you put your minds to it."

Sue Gould
Longtime Earth Charter Communities Initiative Volunteer

blog comments powered by Disqus

Join Earth Charter U.S.

Business or Organization? Endorse Here