Ponds for Public Recreation and Commercial Use

        Ponds are built for a wide variety of other purposes as well. County and township parks often feature ponds as an attractive amenity for aesthetic enhancement and recreation (e.g., bird watching or fishing).

Fig. 17. Golf course in West Bradford Township. Note the white specks stuck in the ice, an indication of the winter hardiness but poor aim of some golfers.

        Many golf courses in the Brandywine watershed include ponds as “hazards”. The land surrounding these hazards is usually heavily managed with applications of fertilizers/herbicides, and regularly mowed grass is the most typical form of riparian vegetation. However, several studies have shown that golf course ponds can, if ecologically managed, harbor a modest variety of invertebrates and amphibians. As shown in Figure 17, a certain very small contribution to the filling in of these ponds is provided by golf balls! Pond management is a necessary part for operation of some businesses (e.g., fish hatcheries). However, for restaurants, corporate headquarters and other firms, maintaining ponds as an aesthetic addition to the property is often considered good business.
        In summary the purposes for which ponds have been built in the Brandywine drainage are diverse, and have changed historically. For example, “farm ponds” built many decades ago when the Brandywine watershed was more rural may now persist within housing developments. Many current ponds function in more than one capacity (for example, as both wet ponds for sediment/nutrient retention and as aesthetic amenities on residential land and commercial properties).