Elon's Lakes on the Main Campus

Lake Verona - Photo credit: Cassidy StrattonLake Mary Nell - Photo Credit: Elon CCM


  • Throughout Elon University's main campus are several man-made lakes including: Lake Mary Nell, Lake Verona and Elon Homes Lake
  • These lakes are also considered to be ponds by the campus
  • In order to preserve and protect wildlife on campus, Elon  provides a habitat for animals through the creation of these "storm water detention ponds"


Irrigation system

Among all the landscape on campus only 37% is irrigated. The Station at Mill Point and Francis Center Fields aren't however. These ponds are used as the primary irrigation source for the campus. According to the Sierra Club Magazine STARS Reporting Tools "these ponds serve as settling basins for sediments and to capture and decompose nutrients or pollutants through the in-pond aquatic vegetation".  Each of these ponds are equipped with an irrigation pumping station so that water is further utilized on campus with the landscape acting as a filtration media through the ground. This irrigation system helps the local watershed since it prevents sediment and other materials from entering nearby natural waterways. 

These three ponds take care of approximately 85 percent of the campus water systems. This started in 1980 and for a while only supplied a small portion of the campus, but by 2008 all of the primary irrigation systems were connected to the pond's. "Water is pumped from these lakes into the irrigation system on campus, supplying the automatic sprinkler heads". This systems has a central control, flow meters and is connected to the weather station at Elon. This helps the gardens, wildlife and the word by conserving a lot of water and irrigating only when needed.


Pond Dye

Pond dye is added to Lakes Mary Nell and Verona in the spring and summer, but it is not for aesthetic value. Tom Flood said that pond dye reduces the amount of sunlight in the water, and therefore reduces the amount of algae that grows in the ponds. Dye is added to the ponds during typical algae seasons. Flood also said that in addition to Mary Nell and Verona, Elon Homes Pond will also require an occasional pack of pond dye. 


Lake Mary Nell

Lake Mary Nell is home to ducks, benches, geese and swans all-year round. Lake Mary Nell is a man-made lake in the north area next to the Lakeside dining hall, which is where it got it's name, and near the music center. A couple special events occur at the lake including Earthfest which is put on by Elon's Sierra Club and Students for Peace and Justice. Another special event is the Polar Bear Plunge by the Resident Student Association and North Area council along with several more spontaneous and planned events. Lake Mary Nell is perfect to take a walk around and has been used as a beach for girls in bathing suits, religious rituals and yoga practice.


Lake Verona


Elon Homes Lake



Works Cited:

Burrows, Kevin. "Seeds of Education Under The Oaks." Landscape Online. N.p., 9 Oct. 2013. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/9323>.

"Campus Initiatives: Landscaping & Grounds." Elon University. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://www.elon.edu/e-web/bft/sustainability/ci-landGrounds.xhtml>.

Cantanese, Ryan. "Progress of Elon University's Sustainability Campaign." Word Press. N.p., 1 Dec. 2008. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://rcatanese.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/progress-of-elon-universitys-sustainability-campaign/>.

Houston, Hannah, and Megan Griffin. "Elon University Gardens and Wildlife." Wiki.betteralamance. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://wiki.betteralamance.org/Elon_University_Gardens_and_Wildlife>.

McGlinchey, Sarah. "Elon Mythbusters." Stream.elon.edu. Ed. Shelley Russell. N.p., 30 Apr. 2008. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://stream.elon.edu/pendulum/mythbusters1.pdf>.

"Stars Reporting Tool." Sierra Club. N.p., 12 Apr. 2013. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201309/coolschools/pdfs/elon-university-nc.pdf>.