Text Box: 4Designing Solutions - Constructed Wetlands
Lesson Plan
Tule Ponds at Tyson Lagoon

if you want to go over Tule Ponds with a booklet please download the following booklet.


1.  Students will observe how organisms are adapted to a wetland environment.
2.  Students are introduced to how movement along Hayward faults causes water to percolate upwards creating a sag pond.
3.  Students will learn about the various food webs at Tule Ponds at Tyson Lagoon.
4. Students learn about a lake environment over time and how sediments will later become sedimentary rocks.
5.  Students observe the microorganisms that can be found in the water and are beneficial to the environment.


              carnivore eat other animals
        decomposers bacteria, microorganisms, and some invertebrates (i.e. worms) that break down organic matter
        ecosystem a biological unit within an environment
        fault a fracture or offset of rock groups
        food chain who eats whom
        food web the interaction of organisms in a ecosystem with multiple food chains
        herbivore organism that eats plants
       microorganisms small organisms that can be seen with the aid of a microscope
        omnivore can eat meat and plant
       riparian influenced by water
        sedimentary rocks rocks formed with the influence of water, usually cemented together


The green zone along a stream ecosystem is called a riparian area and has several unique properties.  A riparian habitat includes three areas depending on the influence of water. The aquatic area refers to the area that is the stream channel or pond. The organisms that live in this area must be adapted to a wet lifestyle. Not far from the banks of the water is an area referred to as the riparian area which are organisms that require a moist habitat. Many plants require their roots to be moist. A transition area between a riparian area and upland cover is called an area of influence. Moisture decreases as you move away from the water.

In the Tule Ponds area, you can view riparian vegetation.  The trees are especially adapted for living near water.  These include California Bay laurel, Fremont cottonwood, sycamores, and white alders.  In Tyson Lagoon and along the edges of Tule Ponds you can find the aquatic plants like tules and cattails.  You can find more information on these plants on the following link: 



1.  Discuss with students the environments found in wetlands and the importance of water.

2.  Students should cut out and assemble booklet. 

3.  Discuss the trace of the Hayward Fault and how it influences the creation of a wetland.

4.  Discuss the plants (tule, cattail, and red willow) that can tolerate submergence in water.

5.  Walk with the students around the Fault Trail and point out the different types of plants and how they have adapted to the life in a wetland.

6.  Collect a small sample of tule, cattail and leaf of red willow so students can complete their booklet on return to the center.

7.   Collect some pond water and have the students observe it through the video microscope.