During the summer, I crave a spot to lounge around and escape the heat. Though I’m a long way from having my own pool, I wish I could recreate this in my backyard.

Gennaro Brooks-Church, owner of design-build company, Eco Brooklyn, created this magical little pond, officially called a Natural Pool, at his home in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. Rather than depending on chlorine or chemicals, the pond uses plants and beneficial bacteria to clean the water and gobble up all the food, thereby starving algae. The 5’5″ deep swimming area – which is talker than me – is surrounded by a moat of gravel where the beneficial bacteria grow and a pump moves water through the gravel to maximize cleaning. The surface is kept moving by an aerator, so mosquitoes can’t lay eggs, but actually serves a breeding ground for natural predators (dragonflies!). A liner retains the water.

Though the pond is not crystal clear, the bottom is still visible. Best of all, the pond provides some habitat for wildlife in the city. In addition to the pond, Brooks-Church’s home has a green roof, native plants, turtles and a bee hive and was renovated with salvaged materials. Clearly, this is my dream home.

Thanks to the folks at Brownstoner for sharing!

photo by Loretta Gendville