WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

Pioneer Valley Water Garden and Koi Club member Joe Houghton’s garden.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

The Pioneer Valley Water Garden and Koi Club will have its 29th annual Pond Tour on Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14, from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., rain or shine. The tour allows you to view some of the most beautiful ponds and gardens in Hampden and Hampshire counties in Massachusetts.

President Joe Kislo Sr. said, “You can find an oasis in the backyards of some of these homes that you would not expect. Not only ponds, but water gardening for some, raising of koi for others and goldfish which is another fish that people often have.”

He continued, “It’s different for a number of people. Some people want to raise koi and the fish are the main focus. Some people have waterfalls, so the sound of the moving water is an important aspect. You sit there on your patio or gazebo and right next to you is a waterfall. Overall, they’re incorporating these elements into their outside environment.”

Tickets are available online at pioneervalleykoipond.club. Community members can visit the ponds at their leisure using the Pond Tour brochure which is provided when they purchase their ticket.

The Pioneer Valley Water Garden and Koi Club is a nonprofit organization with memberships in Western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut, focused on creating beauty and peace in their backyards by building and maintaining water gardens. Their mission is to spread the word of the outdoors and how they interact with mother nature. Kislo’s first exposure to the club came two years ago. As a COVID-19 project, he built a pond in his backyard and was encouraged by his friends to have it shown during the pond tour that year which he did.

Member Joe Houghton heard about one of the pond tours in 2016. He was going into a gardening store and there was a sign posted. Houghton thought it was interesting, so he decided to go on the pond tour and fall in love with it.

“It was a world I’d never seen,” Houghton said. “People with these water gardens and ponds in their backyard and their fish, so I was sold on it then.”

Houghton put a plan together to get his own pond. With guidance from members of the pond club, he put his pond in 2018.

“The pond tour is an opportunity for people to spend a fun day with the family, get their road map out and go to different houses & parts of the city and county,” said Houghton. “We’d like them to be a supporter; for us to carry our mission on to have people participate and grow.”

Tickets are $20 per family or carload.

For more information go to pioneervalleykoipond.club or call 413-594-9318.