Heidelberg conducted a dedication ceremony for a new pond and lower campus Friday.
The project became envisioned after the building of the Saurwein Health and Wellness Center.
The ceremony began with the welcoming from a dedicated member of Heidelberg's board of trustees, Andrew Kalnow.
This has been the start and spring board of the completion of Heidelberg's campus into something more, Kalnow said.
"A vision is great and ideas are great, but having those ideas come into fruition is even greater," he said.
The student body also was represented. Susan Daniel, an environmental science major, spoke on the creation of this space meaning a lot to the student body and providing connections to the community.
"It is a beautiful campus and is very inviting to students," Daniel said.
According to information provided by Heidelberg, by enhancing the aesthetic appearance of the lower campus, the newly created wetland and pond complex has the potential for supplementing Heidelberg's educational mission in a number of important ways.
Once native grasses and hedges have become stable and provide a natural appealing wetland for aquatic and terrestrial life, the area is to offer the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences opportunities for introducing ecological and environmental concepts to many students.
The convenient location of the area will enable professors teaching field biology, ecology and introductory-level biology courses to arrange field trips within normally scheduled laboratory sessions, without having to allow for the time and expense of transportation issues.
In less than a decade, the pond and wetland should be home to a diversity of aquatic plant-life and associated fish, amphibian, reptile, mammal, bird and arthropod species typical of northwest Ohio.
Students in the environmental science program already are beginning to study the water chemistry of the area, thereby establishing a baseline of data for comparisons with the research of future students.
"Heidelberg campus has come a long way," said David Baker, professor emeritus of biology and director emeritus of the National Center for Water Quality Research.
"(This space) supports faculty research and enhances the teaching in the classroom," Baker said. "It serves students well."