Lake Katharine, the Boathouse, and the Water System
Lake Katharine, the woodland streams, and the remains of the early twentieth century water system have changed over the past century, due to human activity and natural conditions. Reynolda Gardens offers programs and events related to environmental studies and issues, using these locations as learning laboratories. Wake Forest University students and faculty conduct scientific studies in the wetland and streams.
Lake Katharine Wetland
Approximately sixteen acres in size, Lake Katharine was created by constructing a dam to block the flow of Silas Creek and several other, unnamed streams that converged at the base of steep, wooded hillsides. Silt and sediment began to fill the lakebed shortly after construction. It was almost completely filled by the 1990s. Due to the presence of the dam, which blocks the exit of silt and sediment, and the streams that continue to flow through, the lakebed has become an artificial wetland.
Boathouse Nature Education Center
The historic boathouse has been converted for use in educational programs for children. The former changing rooms contain informal exhibits and other resources. The central hallway provides seating. The covered porch is an observation platform. The terrace is used for program-related activities.
Water System Structures
Several above-ground structures built for the water system remain: the Irrigation Basin/Freshwater Swimming Pool; a pumphouse; and a cistern. Three ponds and an unnamed stream appear much as they were in the early twentieth century.
To learn more, see selected articles in The Gardener’s Journal, a publication produced by Reynolda Gardens staff for Friends of Reynolda Gardens.