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Northernmost Pond (late 1800s)


“About the ponds, as in other parts of the botanic garden, the florist finds much to admire, the artist picks out the views with suit him best; no doubt poets and lovers find this a pleasant resort, while the pleasure seeker thinks it worth looking over. Some farmers think they have frog ponds enough on their farms, while others take notes with a view to fixing up that rough piece of their back of the house. The young girl thinks ‘the garden is cute,’ while the student of physiological and systematic botany thinks it a little paradise.” — W. J. Beal 

Seated by the side of the pond is William James Beal, founder and namesake of the W. J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum. Although at this time, the garden was simply called the botanic garden or the “Wild Garden.” The pond seen in the picture is one of 3 ponds that existed , each filled by a small creek that ran through the garden.

Still today the pond remains a focal point of Beal Botanical Garden. Though the pond has since become artificial, now sustained by concrete walls, the wildlife continues to return each year. Spot the ducks nesting with their eggs eventually hatching ducklings that learn to swim under the watchful eye of their mother. Observe the life cycle of a frog as they lay their eggs, soon growing into tadpoles that swim alongside the koi fish, eventually growing into a choir of frogs that fill the garden with music at night. The pond continues to create a connection to nature for children that think the “garden is cute,” and young couples still sit by the side of the pond and enjoy each other’s company.