Hundreds of distributors, contractors, and retailers from across North America came together for education, networking, and fun at the 10-year anniversary of the industry’s premiere water gardening event, Pondemonium 2009, held July 16-19. A variety of classes and workshops filled the week but the focus was on sustainable landscapes and rainwater harvesting. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in several hands-on training sessions including a Standard and Advanced Build-A-Pond, along with this year’s highlight, the Extreme Green Community Makeover.

Green projects installed at the Lakes of Bliss Woods subdivision in Sugar Grove, Illinois during the community makeover included ecosystem ponds, rain gardens, RainXchange Rain Barrels, and the RainXchange System paired with a Pondless Waterfall, decorative fountain, and pervious pavers and fountain. LED lighting installations, native plantings, and permeable patios were incorporated into the residential landscapes. A large aeration system was added to the community’s retention pond and native plantings were added to the banks of the pond.

Capping the evening of the Extreme Green Community Makeover was the annual Pondemonium dinner and awards ceremony. This year’s Certified Aquascape Contractor of the Year award was presented to Jim Price of Pondtastic Water Gardens of Orlando, Fla.

“Thanks to all who believe that Pondtastic Water Gardens is deserving of this title,” said Price upon receiving the award. “When we began building ponds I knew we wanted to become a Certified Aquascape Contractor (CAC) as soon as possible. We have had a long hard road just like many of you and I think we still have a long hard road ahead of us, but knowing that what we are doing down here in Florida is recognized by my fellow CACs means a lot. I am proud to be a member of this group and I consider this the highest honor in the pond industry.”  The recipient of the Canadian Certified Aquascape Contractor of the Year award was Island Waterscape Design of Courtney, British Columbia.

Enhancing this year’s green theme at Pondemonium was the ability to achieve Certified RainXchange Professional (CRP) status through hands-on builds, online training and testing.

Aquascape gave special thanks to the sponsors of  Pondemonium 2009, which included Caterpillar of Peoria, Ill.; Toro of Bloomington, Minn.; Lawn & Landscape of Richfield, Ohio; Unilock of Aurora, Ill.; Crane Pumps and Systems of Stamford, Conn.; Aqua Control of Spring Valley, Ill.; Kichler Lighting of Cleveland, Ohio; and Lawn & Garden Webvision of St. Petersburg, Fla.

For more information on Pondemonium, log on to For information on any of Aquascape’s other training events, log on to or call 866-877-6637 (US) or 866-766-3426 (CAN)