Building a water feature in your yard - a small koi pond, pondless waterfall, large swimming pond or even fountain - is an investment in your home and your family's well-being. The natural beauty of plants, the soothing sounds of waterfalls and the incentive ponds give their owners to get outside give people a chance to reconnect with nature in their own yards.
Here are just a few reasons science says you need a pond in your yard:
At a Glance: 5 Reasons to Build a Pond
- Landscaping offers a better return on investment than most other home improvements.
- Water and plants decrease stress.
- Nature helps decrease healing time after injuries and illness, and makes people more likely to exercise.
- Children and adults do better work and are better able to concentrate when outside.
- Ponds and plants shield wildlife from human intrusions.
1. Landscaping is one of the best investments you can make in your home
Homeowners spent an average of $2,700 annually on home improvements between 2011 and 2015. And why not? Projects like updated kitchens and re-tiled bathrooms help increase a home's resale value. And the bigger-ticket the renovation, the better the return on investment.
Well, maybe not.
Remodeling magazine's 2018 Cost vs. Value report shows that homeowners are getting less money back for their projects than they have at any other time in recent history. Americans can expect a return of only about 56 percent on average for most home improvements this year, down from 64 percent in 2016 and 2017.
Planning to spend $21,000 on a roof replacement? Expect to get little more than $14,000 back if you sell your home. Want to invest a hefty $125,000 on a major kitchen remodel? You might see as little as a 53 percent return on that investment.
One type of project, though, has maintained its ability to add property value: improvements that enhance a home's outward appearance. And what could add more beauty than a waterfall cascading into a crystal-clear pond?
Other studies have backed up this theory. One shows that landscaping projects add an average 109 percent return on every dollar spent because home buyers perceive outwardly beautiful homes as being more expensive.
So if you want to add value to your home, consider skipping the granite countertops and spending $2,000 on a pond instead.
2. Water and plants decrease stress
There's a reason vacationers go to the beach or lake to relax.
Water triggers a scientifically measurable sense of ease in most people, according to some studies. It might have something to do with the sound of running water - which drowns out the noise of traffic and barking dogs - or it might be the way our focus softens when we look at something as visually simple as water trickling through a stream. These sights and sounds can even induce a meditative state, which, when worked into a person's daily life, can relieve stress and improve sleep quality.
Plants have a similarly therapeutic effect. Just having flowers around your home can increase levels of happiness, and gardening lets people channel their energy into something that brings joy. Other reports suggest that people who spend more time outside have more positive outlooks on life, while others say the act of nurturing a plant can help some people overcome mental or physical trauma.
Ponds combine the stress-relieving powers of plants and water in one place, without the expense or hassle of a trip to the beach. Just walk out your door, kick up your feet and relax.
3. Beautiful landscapes make you healthier
If you end up in the hospital, try opening the curtains. You might recover more quickly.
Some researchers have found that patients who look out their windows at natural landscaping get better faster than those that can't. Other studies suggest that adding just a few plants to a person's room can decrease recovery times, and encouraging patients to grow and nurture their own plants helps even more.
If it works for hospital patients, imagine the benefits you could reap from adding a pond filled with waterlilies and lotus to your own backyard.
You don't have to have a broken leg or serious illness to see health benefits from nature. People are more likely to exercise in green environments, and working out near water can compound physical activity's stress-relieving benefits.
Exercise doesn't have to mean a 10-mile jog on the beach. Spending a few hours gardening, taking a swim in a farm pond or setting up a yoga mat next to a backyard waterfall can help create a healthier lifestyle.
4. Kids and adults concentrate better outside
Have you ever had a "Eureka!" moment in the shower? That's because your brain switches into creative mode when it has a chance to wander. Nature has the same effect on your ability to concentrate and think creatively.
Spending time outside makes people feel more energized, increasing their productivity and quality of their work. Tasks performed near blooming flowers and lush greenery tends to be more accurate than those done indoors, and just having plants nearby can increase memory retention by up to 20 percent.
Children also learn better around nature. Doing schoolwork outside helps remove some of the stress and distraction they might feel in the classroom, and children with difficulty paying attention tend to engage better in a natural environment.
A pond can create a great environment for children who need to do homework, adults who need to knock out a work report or anyone who just needs some time to think without distraction.
5. Ponds help wildlife
Water features don't just make humans happy.
Ponds attract all kinds of wildlife, from the fish that you put in to the frogs and turtles who migrate there. Squirrels, chipmunks, birds and other critters will also enjoy the nice oasis of plants around your pond, as will honeybees and butterflies.
By creating an environment for these animals, you offset some of the damage humans cause when they spread into natural habitats. The sounds of flowing water block out noises that otherwise disrupt animals' activity patterns, and your plants and pond add much-needed shelter for creatures that might otherwise have no place to go.
Your pets will enjoy the addition too. Lots of our customers have dogs that love their ponds as much as their humans do.
If you decide a pond is right for you, let's talk. You can reach us by phone at 717-751-2108 or visit our store at 1298 Toronita St. in York, PA. Our online Pondsultation form gives you a quick way to reach out via email.
Splash Supply Company builds and services ponds throughout southcentral Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.
Check out the links below to learn more about adding a pond to your life: