Tour for lovers of koi will aid Japanese relief

Next weekend’s Garden Pond Tour, showcasing some of the city’s
most unique koi habitats, will be more than just a fundraiser for
the Southern Arizona Koi Association.

A portion of the proceeds raised from the tour will go toward
the Japanese Red Cross, to help victims of the recent earthquake
and tsunami.

“We can credit the Japanese for koi as we know them today,” said
tour coordinator Jeanmarie Schiller. “We wanted to help, if only in
a small way. It will remind people when they go on the tour that
there are people who are still in need.”

In what has become an annual tradition, the Garden Pond Tour
takes enthusiasts on a self-guided journey to ponds throughout the

This year’s tour will include 12 ponds, six on Saturday and six
on Sunday, with destinations as far south as Rita Ranch and as far
north as Oro Valley.

Participants pick up their tickets and maps at sites around town
(see box) and choose where they want to visit first. This
year’s ponds range from 800 gallons to nearly 30,000 gallons,
roughly the size of a swimming pool, Schiller said.

“This fella has some really large koi,” Schiller said. “He is a
welder and has a big steel Japanese-style bridge that spans the
entire thing.”

Pond owners will be on hand to share tips and secrets on
construction and upkeep. Schiller said the experience is almost as
big a deal to the hosts as it is to their visitors.

“People go to such great lengths to keep their ponds looking
fantastic,” she added. “The people who have ponds, love them and
take care of them, especially the fish. … Those people always
appreciate an opportunity to show them off.”

If You Go

Garden Pond Tour 2011

• Presented by: The Southern Arizona Koi Association.

• When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-next Sunday.

• Where: Different ponds around town. Maps are handed out when
tickets are purchased.

• Tickets: $5 per person for both days, through Magic Gardens;
Mesquite Valley Growers; Harlow’s; Tucson Botanical Gardens; Green
Things Nursery; Ponds, Plants More; Rillito Nursery;
Sheldon’s Nursery; Civano Nursery; Tohono Chul Park; and Mountain
View Koi in Hereford.

• Information: Different ponds will be showcased on different
days. Call 390-0879 or visit for more information.

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at 573-4179 or

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