Creating a Wildlife-Friendly Pond in Your Iowa Garden

The only Master Aquascape Certified Contractors in Iowa

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re thinking about adding a pond to your Iowa garden, or maybe you’re looking to make your existing pond more wildlife-friendly. Either way, you’re in the right place!

Creating a wildlife-friendly pond isn’t just about making your garden look pretty. It’s about creating a mini-ecosystem that can support a variety of creatures, from birds and insects to amphibians and even mammals. So, let’s dive in and explore how you can turn your garden pond into a wildlife haven.

1. Variety is the Spice of Life

When it comes to creating a wildlife-friendly pond, diversity is key. Try to incorporate a range of plant species to attract different types of wildlife. Submerged plants like hornwort provide oxygen and hiding spots for aquatic creatures. Marginal plants like irises create shelter for amphibians and insects. Floating plants like water lilies offer shade and reduce algae growth. The more variety, the better!

2. Shallow Edges

Wildlife ponds aren’t just for fish. Birds, hedgehogs, and other small mammals also love them! To make your pond accessible to these critters, make sure to include shallow areas or a gently sloping edge where they can drink or bathe. This also provides a safe spot for amphibians to lay their eggs.

3. Leave the Leaves

While it’s important to keep your pond clean, don’t be too quick to remove all the leaves and twigs. Some debris can provide valuable hiding spots and breeding grounds for insects and amphibians. Just make sure it doesn’t get out of hand, as too much organic matter can harm your pond’s water quality.

4. Go Natural

Resist the urge to introduce non-native species to your pond. They might look pretty, but they can harm your local ecosystem. Stick to native plants and animals as much as possible. If you’re unsure what’s native to Iowa, don’t hesitate to ask us at Just Add Water. We’re always here to help!

5. Patience is a Virtue

Remember, creating a wildlife-friendly pond doesn’t happen overnight. It can take months or even years for a new pond to establish itself as a thriving ecosystem. But trust us, the wait is worth it. There’s nothing quite like watching a dragonfly hover over your pond or spotting a frog among the lily pads.

So there you have it, folks! With a bit of planning and patience, you can create a wildlife-friendly pond that not only enhances the beauty of your garden but also contributes to local biodiversity. And remember, if you ever need help with your pond in Des Moines, Ames, Indianola, Johnston, or anywhere else in Iowa, the team at Just Add Water is just a call away.

Who We Are

Just Add Water is a locally-owned company that serves the state of Iowa for over 17 years. Our team is very enthusiastic about upgrading the yards and properties for all of our fellow Iowans, and we have the experienced crew to do so!

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I’ve worked with Just Add Water for two water features. They have always been good listeners and eager to get the work up to my specs. The Just Add Water Team is very creative and loves what they do! They take on any challenge, find a solution and get it done!

If you are looking for a professional approach to beautify your yard, I highly recommend Chris, Will, and their team for the project!

John Olsen


The crew & office staff at Just Add Water make the perfect team to create a water feature that enhances your life. If you are just looking for advice, or if you need repairs to an existing water feature, or if you want something totally new for your landscape… Just Add Water is the place to go.

They removed our old pond and invented a beautiful fresh look with a pondless system of 3 waterfalls. We’re very pleased and truly impressed with their artistry and sincere demeanor. Give them a chance. You’ll be glad you did!

John Gray


We hired Just Add Water to create a waterfall feature in our backyard. What we didn’t expect was the overwhelming beauty that happened when they were finished! Chris came to our house on a Sunday, no less, to plan our design, and his crew worked on a Saturday after a long week to do our project.

Amazing, stunning, and much more than we ever dreamed! Professional, and over-the-top design, you won’t be disappointed!!

Joan Campbell