Using dye in your Natural Swimming Pool/Pond is important because it helps protect the water from harsh direct sunlight. The sunlight doesn't harm the water itself, but is a large factor in algae growth. There are a few key times in the life of your NSP when dye is especially helpful. The first being when your NSP is first built. When you've filled the NSP and your pump system is going you need to introduce the dye to protect the water for the first few weeks when the biological filter is establishing itself. The beneficial bacteria needs time to grow into all the nooks and crannies to prevent an algae bloom. The second key time for dye is when you are most likely to experience an algae bloom in your NSP, which is early spring. Spring is the beautiful time when everything begins to grow back in, sadly this does include algae, which will be one of the first and easiet things to grow in your NSP. The dye helps prevent that spring sunshine from creating an algae party in your pool.
Head over the the Kansas City Zoo to see the Tree Kangaroos and keep an eye out for the Sloth exhibit where you'll see more of our trees coming soon!
We built a Natural Swimming Pool for a wonderful family back in 2017. Their NSP features our wooden swim walls, octagon piers, and black liner which gives the swimming area a stylish reflection pool look. It is complete with a small water fall feature and some rock work around the perimeter of the pool.
The clients were so happy with our team and the work we did to create their very own chlorine & salt-free swimming pool that they asked us back to create an aviary attached to their house for their Blue Macaw. If you check out our Instagram you can see more pictures of our time building the aviary. You'll also see a few candid shots of team members Matt & Evan getting some bonding time with the Macaw. This family graciously let us stay with them in their home during the building process and it was a joy getting to know them.
They have continued to share photos of their NSP with us. Below you can see how beautifully the plant life has grown with their pool. Our Natural Swimming Pools fit seamlessly with the surrounding landscape and just get better with age!
At Camp Prairie Schooner's new Aquatic Center in KCMO, our goal was to create a naturalistic climbing experience that would excite and challenge campers for years to come! The main attraction, an enormous, themed concrete boulder features a carved climb-able face which users can swim up to (one at a time) and free climb, without the use of ropes or harnesses. Once to the top of the wall (or as far up as they can get) users fall or jump back into the water, ensuring a safe yet challenging climbing experience. The camp's new Aquatic Center, which also features a naturalistic splash pad and several other themed concrete edge boulders is open to campers as of Summer 2019!
Hey everyone, we have been working on something brand new to us at our workshop this past week. As many of you know we build exhibits for zoos as well as natural swimming pools. We have been working at the Kansas City Zoo, and our most recent addition was installing a sun shade for Cairo the Hippo.
With this shade we also happened to take on the biggest sewing project in Total Habitat history. Over a hundred pins, 5 broken needles, and hundreds of feet of thread later we came out with a huge, beautiful, completed sun shade! With the added bonus of several of our employees getting to brush up on their sewing skills.
For more photos of this project check out our Instagram or Facebook page.
Matt for scale ^
^ Sophia the lead seamstress
At Wolf Park in Indiana, we are currently building a metal hoop house style structure to serve as the Grey Fox exhibit! The large metal hoop house framework will be covered with a netted grid wire and will feature a wooden vestibule (see the concept rendering above left). The pergola-style entry will have a double door system which will allow visitors to safely enter the enclosure without letting the foxes out.
The featured space, aptly named Grey Haven, will give visitors the opportunity to get up close with the fox ambassadors of the Wolf Park. Wolf Park is an education and research facility located in Battle Ground, Indiana that specializes in the study of wild canid (dog) family species such as wolves, foxes, and coyotes.
The Total Habitat team onsite will, after taking a safety course, get to meet a wolf ambassador (the most socialized & trained of the wolves) up close and will hopefully get a “face greet” -- meaning a wolf will lick your face if they like you!
Check out the Wolf Park website to learn more about their research here
To do your part for the planet this Earth Day check out your local government and parks and recreation department for volunteer clean-up opportunities, or check out the earth day website to find out more what Earth Day means and how you can help with even small efforts. If you are local to the Kansas City area like us, check out Friends of the Kaw or Bridging the Gap for volunteer or donation opportunities!
One of our primary missions at Total Habitat is to inspire the next generation of nature lovers by creating authentically natural experiences that educate and challenge. We provide design, construction and consultation services to camps and retreats nationwide. We will work tirelessly to create that memorable, challenging and authentically natural experience for your campers; inspiring continued patronage and countless social media shares!
Inspired By Nature
As a Total Habitat designer, I get asked all the time, "what exactly do you do?" It seems like a simple question, but sometimes it can be surprisingly difficult to answer. I have thought about this a lot and have realized that though every new project we take on is completely unique and full of its own special challenges and opportunities, the one constant connecting everything we do, is nature.
Every space and experience we create, whether its a Natural Swimming Pool/Pond, an animal habitat, a public water feature, a climbing wall or artificial boulder, is in some way inspired by nature: In our projects, we often use natural materials (like wood, stone and plants), we mimic nature's own processes (especially when it comes to water cleaning and filtration), or we create things that just look natural (like waterfalls or our artificial boulders and climbing walls). No matter what new and exciting project we take on next, we will continue to take our cues from nature, and create memorable, authentically natural spaces and experiences.
We're so excited to find out what's next: Contact us today to get started with your project!
If you are looking to create an experience like none other for your retreat, camp or home, look no further than Total Habitat for chemical-free Natural Swimming Pool/Ponds and custom artificial rockwork! This epic jumping boulder features a stairway and waterslide, carved directly into the artificial rock: The play (and photo) opportunities are endless!
Check back with us each month for tips, new project pics, news, and more, here on our Total Blog!