With excitement, we loaded the car and hit the road. We anticipated a smooth ride through Indiana and into Illinois as we traveled to the watergarden capital of the world. Aqualand, here we come! Full of hope, we journeyed knowing that this trip would lead us onward.
As we approached Indianapolis, my sister texted us warning of the snow storm headed toward the Chicago area. They were expecting up to five inches of snow with high winds likely. At this point, there was no turning back. Our hotel was booked, and our plans were set. About an hour outside of Indianapolis, the snow began to fall. Slow at first, then by the time we hit Lafayette white was all we could see. The wind blew fiercely. Windmills were really spinning, and Andrew's knuckles were about as white as the snow hitting the road. It was a scary drive for a very long 4 hours after that. Bumper to bumper traffic going at a maximum speed of 30 miles an hour all the way to Chicago. Talk about a long trip. By the time we made it to St. Charles, there were 4 inches of fresh powder covering the ground and no plow had touched our hotel parking lot. It was a crazy mess. We were exhausted. We settled for some less than great deep dish Chicago pizza and then went right to bed. We were happy that we finally had made it!
The next morning, I dropped Andrew off at Aqualand for his first day of Aquascape Academy classes! He was excited and intimidated all at the same time, but the welcome of the people made the transition from outsider to comrade come at ease. At Aquascape, as you enter the doors, there are a variety of ponds that have been built to enjoy. There are koi swimming and turtles! There are turtles basking in the sunlight! There is even a dog that comes around to greet you. What a place! It is extraordinary.
The energy of Aquascape and its people is thriving. The company is focused on its employees and their well-being, and for that there is appreciation, which truly shows. As introductions began, and classes formed, people became acquainted. Novice to skilled contractors from all regions as well as different levels in their careers gathered ready to dig deeper into the industry that Aquascape has so proudly expanded.
As leaders of the training program, Chris and Trent started the class, Greg Whittstock, Aquascape founder, introduced himself as well. His passion and enthusiasm were downright sincere. His excitement for this business and the success of others in it cannot be masked.
The two day training was packed full of information, almost overwhelming. The classes covered material from edge treatment techniques to keeping a solid ecosystem in your pond and even advice on how to run your business successfully was given. The training was educational and hands-on. Andrew was excited to be a part of the first group to get into the sandbox. The sandbox is Aquascape’s indoor area made for training purposes. In a matter of hours, the group had built an 8X11 pond, a 6 foot pondless waterfall, and a fountainscape. Proving that done the Aquascape way, each feature can be done with a three man crew in a as fast as a day!
On a final note, Greg Whittstock challenged the class to keep our BUTS out of the way. Stay focused on building beautiful features for good people! Let’s makes it a great year!
Andrea & Andrew Johnson
River Bed Builders designs and installs waterscapes. Located in southern Indiana, we install and maintain water features in the Kentuckiana area. Please feel free to leave us a note and share your passion for water too!