Volunteers finished the first phase of a storage shelter at
ZooMontana on Wednesday.
The building began as a shed to protect the new filtration
system for the zoo’s koi pond, but given its size, the shed will
serve as a storage facility, too.
Members of the Water Skippers Pond Club, a group that has and
builds backyard ponds and waterfalls, were nailing the roofing to
the wooden structure, which fits in well with the Homestead House
area of the zoo.
It’s shaped like a barn, only shorter. It’s also not quite
“The outside is basically complete,” pond club member Teus
Steerkenberg said. “It’s missing paint, but it’s too late in the
season. We’ll do painting in the spring, but we would like to
finish the inside this winter.”
They’ll install insulation, add a door and a window for
ventilation and light in the summer months.
All of the supplies, worth about $2,000, were donated by the
community. Steerkenberg said the pond club seeded the project with
a monetary donation and labor.
Thomae Lumber donated basic lumber materials; Bloedorn Lumber
provided siding and Home Depot donated roofing materials.
Steerkenberg said several other community members donated between
$50 and $150 each.
Zoo director Jeff Ewelt said it’s another way to help clean up
“It’s part of cleaning things up and making it a little more
professional looking,” Ewelt said.
The shed’s main purpose is to cover the filtration system for
the koi pond that was put in this summer. Now that winter is here,
the filtration system is shut off. Water is still being circulated
to keep the water from freezing and killing the fish, which remain
close to the bottom of the pond where it is warmer in cold
Steerkenberg said members of the pond club visit the zoo to
check the pumps and the pond at least twice a month. Regular
maintenance is kept up by the zoo’s staff.