Do pond-aerating windmills have to be this ugly?



Even on a cloudy January day, this county park near me was lovely, and nearby residents enjoy the wildlife and quiet and get lost in the whole nature experience – right up until they spy this shiny man-made monstrosity – a Koenders aerating pond windmill. 

As explained here, wind causes air to be piped underground to the bottom of the lake, where it performs all kinds of good deeds – like vent toxic gases, reduce sedimentation, algae, and risk of West Mile Virus, plus improve fish health and watGreenwindmill_2er clarity.  Okay, who am I to argue?

But does this bucolic scene have to be ruined by such ugliness?  One neighbor, my friend Pam, HATES it and suspects that someone in the county Parks Department knew somebody who sells them, or some such tainted procurement procedure.  According to the Koenders website, this thing cost $2,300, plus the cost of that lovely barbed-wire-topped chainlink.  People!!  And couldn’t they spring for the colored variety? Not to mention a decent-looking fence?


  1. Actually, my first thought when I see these is “Why didn’t they install one which would generate electricity while they’re at it?” It isn’t beautiful, but I have to say an algae-covered pond isn’t very pretty either – in fact, algae covered ponds are really gross. I’ll take the windmill.

  2. Why didn’t mother nature think of that? Instead we get green slime and blood sucking bugs. If a windmill works that’s great but science needs art, too, like in this situation.
    The windmill’s looks aren’t as appalling as the kid or embicile proof fence.
    I guess take suggestions and donations from your community to improve this eyesore.

  3. Mia, I like your idea! I like it a lot. So I’m going to do it. Any suggestions on what to plant? The monstrosity gets full sun, all day. There are lots of brambles growing around the pond but I don’t think they are particularly fast-growing or even climbers (??). In my 22 yrs of walking around this pond several times a week I’ve never seen a park ranger on foot, even though the rangers’ station is about 200 yards from the pond. So I don’t think anyone will stop me from planting, and I’ll be surprised if they even notice the vines growing—at least at first. Think I can consider this a minor-league Edward Abbey crusade?
    Michele: given your animus toward asphalt you may find this (from wikipedia) interesting: “Abbey was known to anger people of all political stripes…. In his essays [he] describes throwing beer cans out of his car, claiming the highway had already littered the landscape.”

  4. How about Lonicera sempervirens? It’s a native honeysuckle vine that hummingbirds love. Not super-fast growing, but anything that is might take over the windmill, the field, the pond, etc.

  5. Are you for doing good things for the earth, only if it is pretty? Like only the cute animals deserve rights…
    The attitude of doing something proactive like planting something to help with the fence is a great way to make yourself feel better about it. I am sure the other people will appreciate it too.

  6. Without the nasty fence, the little windmill would have a rustic-sculptural look, not so bad. Some people even buy nonfunctional windmills as sorta garden whirligigs.

    Got native vines?

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