Over the years as development has intruded upon natural wetland areas, this critical wildlife habitat has been lost. I believe that we should take every opportunity presented to us as water garden designers to mitigate this loss.
Construction of these wetland habitats is not difficult. Once a suitable area is identified, excavate a deep pool with shallower shelf areas around the perimeter — about 1 foot below the finished grade. Allow the shallow sections to be wide enough in some areas so that steppingstones may be placed through the planted areas. This will let you to walk through the bog area of the new wetland and thus enjoy the fruits of your labor. After excavation, lay an EPDM pond liner for water containment. The liner is covered with geotextile fabric to protect it from damage. Place river rock of various sizes to naturalize the bottom and sides of the pond. Mortar larger river rock on the outer edge of the shelf, and backfill these areas with an organically rich soil mix. Then, plant these shelves with native aquatic species.
I love the transformation of a sterile piece of earth into a vibrant flora and fauna community. It fascinates me how in a short span of time, these areas teem with life. Within days, water skippers and oarsman bugs find the water. These are soon followed by dragonflies loving the new plants upon which they will lay their eggs. Frogs will settle in, and their croaking lures in salamanders, turtles and, inevitably, predator animals and birds. That is the circle of life completed for the new habitat.