Pond Explorations

Two students and adult are exploring the pond

Our program site is the Rose Garden Pond, the former reflecting pool installed by Clara Ford as part of her famous rose garden. The shallow pond is no longer maintained in its former state, and now has various aquatic plants and animals—especially macroinvertebrates—that are representative of southeast Michigan. The lawn and stone border of the pond make it wonderfully suited for a safe, hands-on exploration of an aquatic environment. All of the creatures that are removed from the pond for a closer look will be gently returned to their habitat at the conclusion of our program.

Grade Levels, Program Length, and Season 

  • Appropriate for Grade Levels Pre-K-8
  • This program lasts 1 1/2 to 2 hours and can be adapted to suit the needs of your group 
  • The program is offered from mid-April to mid-November


Children using dip nets during pond explorations program.

Program Description and Activities

Your students will be engaged in a multifaceted program experience that may include:

  • Using dip nets and other aquatic sampling equipment to capture and examine various pond creatures such as dragonfly nymphs, predaceous diving beetles, backswimmers, leeches, tadpoles, crayfish, water scorpions, snails, and much more.
  • Examining some of the adaptations, life cycles, and roles in the food web of the various creatures in the pond in order to become aware of the diversity of life in an aquatic habitat.
  • Using an aquatic life identification key to identify the creatures they find.
  • Discussing and reflecting on the importance of healthy aquatic habitat to living things.
Science Standards
Pre- and Post-Visit Resources