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Seminars, Speaking Engagements & Events

Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Arizona (AZ) & Surrounding Areas

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Let us help add interest and innovation to your club meeting, lunch & learn, or seminar sessions with colorful and interesting presentations! We have a variety of topics that are updated on a regular basis to reflect the latest technology and information on the subjects of ponding, water gardening, rainwater harvesting, storm water management, and wildlife. Let us know if we can be of service! 

Speaker Bio

Paul Holdeman, co-owner of The Pond Gnome, is a third-generation Arizona native. Growing up in Arizona, he has developed an intimate understanding of the Sonoran desert. Hiking through Arizona’s numerous canyons, fishing and observing wildlife with his teenage son, he spends as much time as possible enjoying Arizona’s natural riparian corridors.

After earning his Bachelor of Science from ASU, Paul took a job with a Tempe-based property management company. He quickly determined that the administrative part of the job was not fulfilling. The landscape, and more specifically, the pond and lake management began to garner most of his attention.

In 1995, He left property management to form a landscape contracting partnership which did pretty well. In the fall of 1999 Paul met a man who introduced him to a ponding and water feature methodology that imitates Mother Nature’s design both functionally and aesthetically, and he immediately fell in love with the concept.

In early 2000, Paul and his wife, Barbi, started their new company. The Pond Gnome would have the mission of changing the way Arizonans build ponds. It would help replace the natural oases that once played a huge role in providing for native and migratory wildlife as they made their way through our pre-urbanized desert. It would market to people who wanted lush, riparian backyards and urban wildlife habitats. The company has created over 400 sustainable, organic water sources for people, as well as wildlife, to enjoy since its inception.

Paul has attended numerous courses given by such institutions as the Desert Botanical Garden, the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association, and the Arizona Municipal Water Users’ Association. He also attends frequent continuing education courses by other world renowned experts in ponding and rainwater harvesting. This education and experience in the industry is applied through The Pond Gnome, where the passion for organic water features and native wildlife habitats is immediately apparent in the company’s award-winning work.

Large Venue

Paul is skilled at commanding the attention of and keeping a large audience engaged. His charismatic personality and passion for the industry ensures that there is never a dull moment!

Club Meeting

Paul’s presentations will add a fun element to any club meeting with either a demonstration or a Power Point.

Hands-On Workshops

Paul is not afraid to get his hands dirty, nor to involve the attendees in any hands-on workshop or seminar.

Homeschool Groups

Add a little show & tell to your homeschool group! Paul really enjoys showing kids all the cool stuff associated with an ecosystem pond: bugs, fish, etc. The kids seem to have a pretty good time, too.

Current Speaking Offerings

(Customized Presentations Available upon Request):

  • Aquatic Plants
  • Backyard Wildlife Habitats
  • Birds Gone Wild
  • Designing Water Features I
  • Designing Water Features II
  • Eco-friendly Water Gardens
  • Enhance Your Garden With Water
  • Invite a Little Magic Into Your Garden
  • Maintenance of Ponds & Water Features
  • Water Gardening in the Southwest
  • ​Our Disappearing Wetlands
  • Plants, Puddles & Ponds for Birds
  • Ponds for Kids
  • Ponds in the Desert?!?!
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Schoolyard Wildlife Habitats
  • Summertime Pond Care
  • ​The Ecosystem Pond
  • The Sustainable Oasis
  • Urban Wildlife Habitat Design

Interested in Booking a Speaking Engagement?