There's good news, everybody: If you can’t live by the water, you CAN bring the water near you! This is just one type of project that Quiet Nature Ltd., an environmentally friendly and sustainable-living landscaping company in Ayr, Ontario, lets you achieve.
As we move into February and our Canadian winters continue getting colder, you might even enjoy this pond for a nice, cold dip! And when it's cold enough, you can even skate on this backyard pond! Yes, I said skate! This means that the ponds at Quiet Nature Ltd. are extremely versatile.
Instead of pouring concrete into the ground for your typical chlorine-dependent swimming pool, Quiet Nature offers a more sustainable option of a natural pool. As Derek Lippert, founder of Quiet Nature, says, it’s “human-made but [made] to look more like naturally formed pools or ponds.”
Founded in 1999 and serving Waterloo, Ontario, and select towns around the area, Quiet Nature focuses on creating natural landscapes that both blend seamlessly into the surrounding space while respecting and restoring the location's ecosystem.
Presenting the natural pool...
For example, this is Gilmour’s Pond, based in Guelph, Ontario, and it certainly did not exist before. The project, named ‘On Gilmour’s Pond’, won the 2016 Landscape Ontario Award of Excellence in the section of Construction – Water Features. In addition to building this natural swimming pond, the team at Quiet Nature had to make sure that it complimented the architecture of this countryside house and the surrounding landscape.
As you can see below, the project began on a plain green piece of land with a dead spot and some tufts of grass.
Did it know it would transform into a beautiful swan – I mean pond?
Each project comes with its challenges. For Gilmour's Pond, their working area experienced an excess of groundwater. This is typical for this region, as this Canadian region experiences higher rainfall and snowfall, being so close to rivers and other bodies of water. The team resolved this dilemma by installing a sump system (pump to remove accumulated water) under the pond. Whew!
What makes the pond look so natural is that it is filtered organically without the use of chemicals. This is a swimming pool that you can feel good about swimming in as it smells nothing like chlorine. The pond acts and matures like a natural body of water. So, you should expect some sediment under your feet.
The pond is truly a living ecosystem – the water circulates gently through the variation in temperature between a shallow (regeneration zone) and deep end (main pool), along with the assistance of a small pump. The water is filtered by a regeneration zone or wetland filter, a gravel-bed filter of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants. Built nearby, water from the pond is cleaned as it passes through this zone. The regeneration zone is an ecosystem in itself and a place where wildlife and insects will gather. But fret not, they won’t be as attracted to the pond itself.
Here’s what’s great about this pond: it’s chemical-free, uses less water and energy, and can become a habitat for wildlife. Plus, over its life span, it costs less than conventional swimming pools.
Derek Lippert carries an Ecosystem Management Technologist diploma and is an outdoor enthusiast. He’s experienced at overseeing large-scale ecological restoration projects and building practical outdoor living spaces. His team is no less impressive in their love for nature and knowledge in landscape, horticulture, environmental conservation, and maintenance.
As beautifully explained by Quiet Nature’s Naturalization Division Manager Rachel Voros, the essence of their work is this: “Where wild things are invited to be wild [and] appreciated for the services they provide.”
As an individual who values sustainability and beautiful landscapes, learning about this project and organization just blew me away!
If you’re ready to make daily morning swims in a natural pond, paddle over to Quiet Nature Ltd.
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All photos courtesy of Quiet Nature Ltd.
Researched and Written by May Lam, Professional Writer and Editor, Centennial College, Toronto, Canada