Finding peace in ponds: Tour takes visitors into Chico backyards – Enterprise

Click photo to enlargeCHICO — A hidden oasis doesn’t have to be in the middle of a desert or on some lonely island — it could be right in the middle of Chico.

During the 17th annual pond tour, hosted by the Congregational Church of Chico on Saturday, local “tourists” visited seven backyard ponds.

“It’s to help us continue with our outreach program,” said pond tour coordinator Diane West.

West said a woman who attended the church and owned a gardening business had the idea several years ago. Since then, the tour has blossomed into featuring different homes and places every year. “Most of the time, it’s at regular people’s houses,” West said.

“We try not to have (the same) houses two years in a row, but we have revisited a few.”

This year, the home of Jerrold and Christine Fischer was featured for the second time in 10 years.

The Fischers’ backyard consists of a deep pond with koi, a waterfall and two small streams that feed into the pond.

“People find it very comforting and soothing, which it is,” said Jerrold Fischer.

“It is really peaceful. It is private. You’re kind of in your own little world back here.”

He said he and his wife are used to the serenity of their backyard, but were glad to see people enjoying it on the tour.

The backyard was a clean slate when he and his wife got it, he said. “We’ve just kind of added to it little by little.”

Valerie Peck of Chico said this was her first year on the tour, and she was very impressed.

“It’s wonderful,”

she said. “It was really nice to see such a part of Chico I haven’t seen before.”

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