Community Partner Spotlight Aug. 2012: Aquascape Custom Crafted Pools, Petaluma, CA

Back in 2010, a group of servicemen and women of the US Army Reserve 801st Engineering Company was at the Center to help us build our mountain lion enclosure.  As they were packing up their equipment and supplies, Executive Director Doris Duncan approached Sargent Tony McCoy about digging a pond for a future planned river otter facility.  Since Tony and his unit needed to move on to their next assignment, he recommended she get in touch with his good friend, Todd Hendrickson, an award-winning local pool builder and President of Aquascape Custom Crafted Pools in Petaluma. 

Doris contacted Todd and invited him to the Center to inspect the site.  Todd liked what he saw and began researching what it would take to design and build a pond suitable for otters.  

After a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, much discussion with his wife and family, and enthusiastic response from his employees, Todd contacted SCWR with a remarkable offer to donate the labor to design and build the pond! 

With the number of otter rescue calls increasing, Doris jumped at the offer.  “The nearest facility is in Lake Tahoe,” she explained.  “Having a pond closer to the Bay and its tributaries reduces the stress on the animals.  The long drive to Tahoe is difficult on the animals and on our volunteers. This will be a facility that all California wildlife centers can utilize.” 

Working with Doris and her staff, Hendrickson designed a large pool with boulders and other unique features that allow the otters to swim and rest.  Volunteers from Aquascape and other companies dug the pool, laid rebar and other structural enforcement and sprayed gunnite to line the pool.

The pool was filled with water for the first time earlier this month.  A local Eagle Scout candidate is building the den house which will give the otters a warm and secure place to rest when not exercising in their new pond. 

“What started as a dream became an amazing collaboration with local businesses,” Doris commented.  “I’m amazed that a project of this size came together so smoothly and with such care and attention to the needs of these wonderful animals.”         

Thank you Todd, his wife Leslie, their daughter Victoria, their son Lucas and the team at Aquascape Custom Crafted Pools for this exciting addition to our Center!