Hello from Michigan!

This forum has come up in almost every search I have made, so I figured it was time to take the plunge and joing the forum.

We moved last year to an 8 acre plot in the country outside Lansing, MI with a roughly .75 acre vernal pond. It's between 2 and 3 feet deep in winter, but bone dry come late August.

It's primary purpose will be just for recreation, swimming and floating and paddling and whatnot, but I'd also like to be able to stock it for fishing with the boys, just sunfish and whatnot.

I'm not sure whether the forum will let me include photos on a first post, so I'll try and link them just in case.

The property outline. You can see the swampy area next to the road, surrounded by brush.

This is how the 'pond' looks in the summer, late August or so. (It's July now and it's about 16"). The grassy area (and the one hidden behind the line of bushes on the right) is probably about a half acre with the surrounding buttonbush and scrub trees and grass.

You can see what the water level in that area is in the winter, so I'm fairly certain we shouldn't have any issue with water. (The pond is the open area on the left. The rest is just overflow). It takes a couple months before the water table dips below a foot or so below the surface.

So I'm not even sure where to start with the project aside from my initial research. I'm pretty sure I'd like it to be an acre with a depth of 20ft for at least 50% of it?

Here are some of my initial questions:

  • Not sure if I should clear the brush first, or if that's a non-issue for an excavator. I'm assuming it's sucking up some water in the summer that would make excavation easier, though?
  • We have pinpointed some areas in the property that could use some extra dirt for leveling out, but it's probably only an acre or two. We were actually thinking about adding a hill next to the pond for sledding and shenanigans (maybe a hobbit hole?!). Are there any concerns about runoff if I see it? Is that a silly or unreasonable idea? Or should I start budgeting for dirt removal?
  • When I'm not worried about damns or drainage, can I just hire a general excavator or do I need a specific engineer?
  • Most importantly...HOW THE HECK DO I START!?!

Thanks everyone for all the help even before I registered!!!

Edited by Geoff M. (07/10/18 03:09 PM)