How to Attract Wildlife to Your Des Moines Pond

The only Master Aquascape Certified Contractors in Iowa

Creating a wildlife-friendly pond in your Des Moines backyard can transform your outdoor space into a bustling hub of nature’s activity. Attracting birds, butterflies, frogs, and other beneficial wildlife not only enhances the natural beauty of your pond but also contributes to the health of your local ecosystem. Here’s how you can design your pond to be a haven for wildlife, with insights on how Just Add Water can assist in creating this vibrant outdoor sanctuary.

Incorporate Native Plants

The selection of native plants is crucial for attracting wildlife to your pond. Native species provide essential food and shelter for local wildlife and are adapted to the Des Moines climate, requiring less maintenance than non-native varieties. Consider incorporating a mix of submerged, marginal, and floating plants to create a diverse habitat that supports a wide range of wildlife.

Add Shallow Areas

Wildlife, especially birds and amphibians, prefer shallow areas for bathing, drinking, and accessing the pond. Creating shallow edges or a beach area in your pond design can make it more accessible and inviting for wildlife. These areas also offer safe spots for amphibians to lay their eggs and for insects to thrive, which in turn attracts more wildlife.

Ensure a Natural Food Source

A wildlife-friendly pond should offer a natural food source for its inhabitants. This includes the aquatic insects that breed in the water, the plants that provide nectar for butterflies and bees, and the seeds produced by pond-side vegetation. Avoid using pesticides or chemicals in and around your pond, as these can harm the wildlife you’re trying to attract.

Provide Hiding Places

Wildlife needs places to hide from predators and to seek shelter during bad weather. Incorporating rocks, logs, and dense plantings around your pond can provide these essential hiding spots. For aquatic wildlife, consider adding underwater features like rocks or wood where fish and amphibians can find refuge.

Install a Water Source

In addition to your pond, installing a supplementary water source such as a birdbath or a dripping fountain can attract a wider variety of birds and beneficial insects. The sound of moving water is particularly effective in drawing wildlife to your garden.

Avoid Over-Cleaning

While maintaining water quality is important, overly clean ponds can actually deter wildlife. A natural balance that includes some algae and leaf litter can provide food and habitat for a variety of creatures. Allow your pond to maintain a somewhat natural state for the best wildlife attraction.

Just Add Water: Your Partner in Creating Wildlife Havens

At Just Add Water, we understand the joy and satisfaction that comes from creating a backyard pond that teems with life. Our expertise in designing and installing wildlife-friendly ponds means we can help you achieve a balanced, beautiful outdoor space that supports the local Des Moines ecosystem.

Ready to Welcome Nature to Your Backyard?

If you’re inspired to transform your Des Moines backyard into a wildlife oasis, Just Add Water is here to help. Visit Just Add Water to get started on your project. Let us assist you in designing a pond that not only adds beauty to your outdoor space but also plays a vital role in supporting and attracting local wildlife. Together, we can create a backyard retreat that you and nature can enjoy in harmony.

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