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Pig-Shaped Wetland Draws National Attention
Airline passengers flying over Jack Pratt's hog farm must have a hard time believing their eyes when they look down and see his pig-shaped wetland.
It was built by Delaware's Department of Natural Resources as part of Delaware's "no net loss" wetlands policy.
There are 3,000 to 4,000 miles of drain-age ditches in the southern three-quarters of the state. If we disturb those channels we have to add wetlands elsewhere," explains Tom Barthelmeh, who, along with hog farmer Jack Pratt, Kenton, Del., came up with the idea for the pig-shaped wetland last spring.
The 1/4-acre pond is located on the southernmost edge of Pratt's 250-acre farm. There's a drainage ditch on one side and marginal soils on the other which were also restored to wetlands.
Once the pig design was agreed on, a draftsman digitized a picture of a pig that Barthelmeh got from Delaware State University. From there, an engineer laid out the de-sign. Flags were positioned and the outline was drawn in lime. A backhoe then simply dug out the 140-ft. long pond to a depth of 12 in. From conception to completion, the project took almost three months, Barthelmeh says.
Since we built it, we've received calls from all over North America, including one from Ontario, thanks to an article about the wet-land in an EPA publication," Barthelmeh says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Barthelmeh, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Soil and Water Conservation, 89 Kings Hwy., Dover, Del. 19901 (ph 302 739-4411).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #5