'Pond Stars' crew helps install duck pond in children's home in Mesa

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- A Valley children's home is getting a wonderful gift: a duck pond for the kids to take care of. And the project is getting some national recognition.

Texas Roadhouse made a generous donation so that Pondscapes can build a duck pond at Sunshine Acres, a home that has housed some 1,600 kids.

The pond will provide an outdoor classroom for the children that live at Sunshine Acres, and will let the kids experience animals in their natural habitat.

"It teaches them about ecology and geology," said Ralph Biezad of Pondscapes in Queen Creek. "It's going to be a good environment for them."

Also assisting with the project is the Aquascape Pond Stars, as seen on the National Geographic show "Pond Stars." Pond Stars follows the wild world of pond-building, as this team transforms uninspired spaces into water-feature wonderlands, bringing wildlife into backyards and public areas all across America.

Right now, the Pond Stars crew is on location in Mesa, filming an episode of the reality show that will feature Sunshine Acres and the pond being built. The filming will take place through Feb. 27. The episode could air as early as this spring.

So why a pond? "Kids are completely, electronically tied today, as any parent would know," says Greg Wittstock of Pond Stars. "We want to get kids back to their roots, outside and in nature. And when it comes to water and animals, it's got kids all over it."


Here's a link to the blog talking about the project:


Since 1954, Sunshine Acres has been home to more than 1,600 children. Founded by Rev. Jim and Vera Dingman, this faith mission has two basic principles: they will never solicit money, and will never turn away a child for financial reasons.

The home is almost entirely funded by donations. Support comes from many individuals, foundations, and corporations who want to help.

For more information about Sunshine Acres, visit: channel.nationalgeographic.com.

For more information about Pond Stars, visit: sunshineacres.org.