A water retention pond is under construction as part of the water management strategy and to develop future learning opportunities. The CSI site focuses on bringing together applied research and demonstration projects for agriculture, environment, and energy.
The water retention pond will gather runoff from the yard site, building area, and some of the nearby landscape and direct it to an area where water has traditionally pooled in the spring. The development is intended to allow for the creation of a new plant community along the edges of the pond. The establishment of these wetland species will provide environmental science students with enhanced learning opportunities. Summer research staff have been involved in transplanting species to the site. The site will also provide opportunities for ongoing evaluation of the plant community establishment by many groups of environmental students. As a further enhancement, an area of native upland plants will be established nearby, thus creating additional learning and demonstration opportunities.
The area is intended to highlight how a water management strategy for the site, including controlling excess runoff, can be incorporated to establish a value added and visually appealing pond area that can serve multiple objectives. The site can be used to demonstrate how an off-site cattle watering system could be incorporated to provide an additional water resource to a nearby pasture, and how a small area of enhanced habitat and biodiversity potential can be created.