About the Pond and Stream
A gentle, shallow, waterfall-fed stream winds nearly 100 feet down to a collection of natural pools and fountains, with countless opportunities for exploration. Explorers can look among the reeds and lily pads to discover small fish, aquatic snails, water insects, tadpoles and other wildlife. Ducks are regular visitors. A shady gazebo with seating overlooks the area.
The pond and stream opened in 2013 with support from the Garbo and Al Lei family and friends in memory of Garbo Lei. The Koi fish, ginkgo leaves and dragonflies embedded into the rocks underwater are made of copper. Real ginkgo leaf fossils are found in China, and some date back over 200 million years. The ginkgo tree is one of the oldest trees on Earth, and biologists have found evidence in the fossil record that the tree has been virtually unchanged for millions of years.
The area underwent significant renovation in 2021 when the pond was replaced with a series of shallow pools and fountains designed to allow more interaction with the exhibit. The exhibit renovation was sponsored by Evergy. The feature was designed and installed by Adam Tucker of local Fantasy Falls and Water Gardens.
The Discovery Center water experience is unique in that it encourages play in a natural water source. Children can see a realistic stream at work, and the impact of textures, native plants and organisms on the environment. These experiences stimulate questions about the water cycle, environmental concerns, and the value of water in the ecosystem. This differs significantly from the experience children have at a water park or swimming pool. Water play inspires children’s natural scientific curiosity as they experiment with force, pressure, fluidity and buoyancy. When a child builds a small dam with natural elements, tests a boat, or runs fingers through a running stream, they feel scientific principles at work!
Hand-eye Coordination, Balance, Body/Spatial Awareness, Risk Assessment
Sensory Play, Planning, Reaction Time, Focus, Curiosity