Pioneer Valley Water Garden and Koi Club’s 25th annual Pond Tour planned

Jun 30 2018
Published by under Events, Gardening, Holyoke

There will be 17 stops on the tour in Belchertown, Chicopee, Holyoke, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, Springfield, Westfield and West Springfield.

Jan Dusza and his wife, Joanna came from Poland 29 years ago, and their Holyoke home, he said, “is just average from the outside,” but the backyard is a “little paradise.”

That’s because they have created three ponds there, connected by seven waterfalls. Two of the ponds have fish; and one is just for water plants.

Their ponds will be part of the Pioneer Valley Water Garden and Koi Club’s 25th annual Pond Tour July 7 and 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

There will be 17 stops on the tour in Belchertown, Chicopee, Holyoke, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, Springfield, Westfield and West Springfield.

Visitors will see beautiful flowers and landscapes, streams and waterfalls, rock formations and ponds with fish. They will get ideas about landscaping, constructing ponds and maintaining fish. “Wonderful, knowledgeable hosts will be willing to share their pond information,” said Wendy M. LaFond, club president.

About 10 years ago the Duszas went to a Northampton show where the water garden and koi club had an exhibit. They liked what they saw and decided to build their own pond. “We didn’t know anyone who had a pond, so I could get some useful information (at the show about) how to build,” said Mr. Dusza, who earned a degree in forestry in Poland.

“Everything was just imagination and pond pictures online,” he said.

The couple began with one 1,500-gallon pond with a long waterfall. “We loved it from day one, and two years later we realized that we wanted a bigger one, and then it started a big project,” he said. They got ideas and materials online and went to quarries in Goshen to look for stone.

“Me and my wife did everything people cannot believe,” he said, noting that they enlisted help from his brothers-in-law, nephews and couple friends to place the 450-pound, 25-foot-by-45-foot liner.

Their backyard with ponds is now in its eighth season. “I’m pretty sure that we are done with expansion because there is no more room,” he said with a laugh.

The ponds are their hobby, and they spend much time around them, enjoying a cup of coffee, relaxing and feeding the fish; when their grandchildren visit, they have fun feeding fish by hand and even petting them.

Total volume of the ponds is about 7,000 gallons, and there are some 70-80 koi from eight inches to 28 inches in length.

“We are very, very proud of what we did,” said Dusza, who is an environmental technician who works as shift supervisor at a water pollution control facility, a job that helps him understand the process of cleaning water, which is important for every pond owner.

Tickets for the Pioneer Valley Water Garden and Koi Club’s Pond Tour are $20 a car load and available in Agawam at Dave’s Soda & Pet Food City; in Chicopee at McKinstry’s Garden Market, FitChicks Nutrition Center and Ondrick’s; in Deerfield at Chapley Gardens; in East Longmeadow at A.W. Brown and Graziano’s Gardens; in East Springfield at Dave’s Soda & Pet Food City; in Granby at Class Grass; in Ludlow at Randall’s Farm & Greenhouse; in Northampton at Dave’s Soda & Pet Food City; in Palmer at 5 Star Gardens; in Simsbury, Connecticut at Emmons Tropical Fish; on Southwick at Anson’s Flower Farm and Nursery; in Springfield at 16 Acres Garden Center; in Westfield at Kelly’s Home and Garden, Picture Perfect Ponds and Field of Flowers; and in Whately at Bay State Perennial Farm.

Proceeds from the event — which will take place rain or shine — will be used to promote horticulture, ponds and koi fish; for scholarships; and for upkeep of the Roger Roy Memorial Garden in Chicopee.

For more information, contact Wendy LaFond at 413-594-9318 or wendidarlin@aol.com or go online to PioneerValleyPondClub.com.

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