Text Box: 3Wetland Ecosystem Dynamics
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 learn how wetlands are different than other environments.
2.  Students explore how restoration of an impaired environment can increase habitat. 
3.  Students explore the diversity of plants and animals in a wetland.



Text Box: Defining a wetland
1.  Water (surface or ground)
	2.  Wetland  soil (formed with water—hydric)
	3.  Wetland plants (plants  that can be submerged)
Wetlands can be various sizes and shapes, with either freshwater, brackish water, or marine water for a portion or an entire year.  Marshy, boggy, or swampy areas also qualify as wetlands.

 There are three indicators of wetlands that include the presence of water, soil development under aquatic conditions, and the presence of wetland plants.  Water can be caused by run-off or ground water and is available during the growing season.  Types of soil associated with wetlands are called hydric soil.  Hydric soil is saturated with water that makes them anaerobic.  Decomposition is slow so plant remains can accumulate in areas where water movement is minimal.  However in areas where there is continuous movement, soils may be dominated by silt and clay.  Plants that are adapted to water are called hydrophytes.  There are two types including plants that can be submerged (submergents) such as floating plants and emergents like cattails or tules. 

Wetlands are important for biological life because it sustains a diversity of organisms throughout the year.  Wetlands provide rest stops for migrating animals like birds.  Wetlands also filter and clean storm water from pollutants. Different wetlands fill different functions in an ecosystem.  Tyson Lagoon is a permanent, freshwater wetland, whereas the other areas that contain water only during the rainy season are considered seasonal wetlands.  


 1.  Discuss with students the definition of a wetland.  Compare it to other environments like forests or deserts. 

 2.  Point out that there are two types of wetlands.  Tule Ponds represents three ponds that were created by engineers and called a constructed wetland.  The plant and soil are not reflective of a true wetland.  Tyson Lagoon is a true wetland and has the soil, plants, and hydrology for a true wetland.

3.  Show the here ponds and make sure students can visually see the water movement before it goes into Tyson Lagoon. 

 4.  Take students on a walk and stop several times so students can locate themselves.

 5.  When you return show cores of soil to students so they can compare the two.

 6.  Depending on the time of year will depend on what plants the students will concentrate on.  They will make a bookmark of riparian plants.