Class Gift Aims for a Lasting Legacy

The class of 2014 has given a pond filtration system to the Central College campus as its senior class gift. The environmentally conscious pond filtration system relies on biofilters and aquatic life to help keep the water clean in the pond outside of Maytag Student Center.

The senior gift planning committee, with the help of Adam Haselhuhn and Cindy Wilson in the advancement office, selected three different gift ideas for students to vote on. After voting, the pond filtration system was a clear winner with almost 70 percent of the popular vote.

Megan Sloss ’14, a member of the planning committee, said, “Alumni and current students understand the fun-filled traditions that are centered on the pond, so it is great to be giving this area an ecofriendly makeover for future generations to enjoy, and it carries the potential for continual growth and additions for years to come.”

Money was raised by the class of 2014, the 40-year reunion class of 1974, and additional costs were covered by the Central Facilities Management and Planning office. Overall, 49 percent of the class of 2014 donated toward the project.

Kyle Freischlag ’14, a member of the planning committee, said, “While this gift was very expensive, we raised a significant amount of funds from the senior class, and our partner class, the class of 1974.”

The project was designed and constructed by Country Landscapes, a professional landscaping company based in Ames.

“In past years the pond discoloration has been due to excessive algae growth,” said Mike Lubberden, director of facilities planning and management. “The system being put in will work with algae growth, not against it.”

The pond filtration system includes four biofilters. The biofilters are silent and use pipes to either push water into or pull water out of the filters. The actual filter is a system of plant roots held in place by river gravel. The roots of the plants will feed off the algae, cleaning up the water.

“This will hopefully be a solution to a long-standing maintenance problem for the college, and we are glad that we are able to pool resources together to make this happen,” says Adam Haselhuhn, director of annual giving.

Keeping with the theme of sustainability, the river gravel was taken from the roof of Gaass Hall when it received an upgrade in July.

The plants chosen for the project were carefully selected based on whether they are native to Iowa, their impact on the pond ecosystem and availability. Plants include water lilies, blue rush and irises. With the additional plant life on the pond, there will be a stronger ecosystem for frogs, fish, turtles and a variety of other animals to live.

The pond’s most famous residents—the Canada geese—will actually have a better environment to raise their goslings due to the increased plant and animal life. The animal life will also help keep algae levels down during the hot summer months.

One of Central’s key events, the Lemming Race, will not harm the system either. The biofilters and plants have been strategically placed to avoid being damaged in the annual race.

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