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Ponds & Plants, Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg

"The team from Ponds And Plants helped our facility finish our fox enclosure. They came in and worked non-stop and produced an amazing and natural looking decor. The finished product is something we can all be proud of. Their work is exceptional and their ability to visualize and create natural looking, functional exhibits make them an asset to any zoo or wildlife facility. David and Dawn worked non- stop and finished a project in days that would have taken us months to complete. Even zoos with exhibit staff on hand would do well to hire this exceptional team for their exhibit renovations and designs. We could not be happier with their work and expertise and look forward to working with them in the future on other projects."

-Lisa Hays-Ecklund

Ober Gatlinburg, Animal Curator

Ponds & Plants, Scaly Adventures

Scaly Adventures

"We highly recommend Ponds and Plants as a place to visit with your family! It is such a unique location as you can see a wide variety of animals up close, walk the paths outside and go inside to explore their exotic animals and exhibits. We are proud to feature Ponds and Plants in two episodes of our Scaly Adventures educational television series because they are a family friendly venue owned by David Manser, who is extremely knowledgeable and builds animal enclosures and exhibits around the world. David and his fiancé, Dawn, are incredibly creative and together they create unique pieces of art, animal exhibits, play areas for children and more that you can see throughout the property. From Emus to Kookaburras, Pythons to Koi, Turtles to Tegus, Ponds and Plants has so many different animals to discover, watch and enjoy. Some of their animals are rescues and the support from the public goes toward caring for the animals. So when you visit is not only fun but you’re also supporting a great cause. If you are near the Dayton, TN area and are looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon, we definitely encourage you to check them out!"

-Rick & Tanya Curren

Founders of Boundless Limits International and creators of TV's Scaly Adventures

Ponds & Plants, Steele Creek Nature Center

Steele Creek Nature Center

“Ponds and Plants takes concrete and turns it into magic!  The new Nature Center at Steele Creek Park in Bristol, Tennessee features 3 exhibits fabricated by Ponds and Plants, a bird forest diorama, terrestrial animal enclosure and diorama, and a crawl-through cave.  All three incorporate both beauty and functionality seamlessly!  Painstaking detail has gone into creating scenes that convey the material being interpreted while also staying true to the region’s biodiversity.  Gifted artists and naturalists lend their hand to the work and it shows; natural history meets grace and style with Ponds and Plants!”

-Jeremy B. Stout 

Manager, The Nature Center at Steele Creek Park


Conservation Work

"Ponds and Plants in Dayton Tennessee is a business that not only brings nature to people but also takes their talents and creativity to the field to do hands on conservation work. Dave Manser the owner has used his passion and talents to create a  home base in Dayton at his business of discovery for people to come and explore and sometime take home and care for from the nursery and store. Dave also has worked on many zoo, aquarium, museum and nature centers recreating naturalistic exhibits and interactive displays for everyone to enjoy and learn about animals and ecosystems.


Dave has taken his skills in construction into the field to help with many conservation projects and has joined me on a number of trips to India, Burma and Thailand. He brings back from those trips ideas he is able to duplicate in zoo and animal exhibits across the US and abroad. From zoos, museums, nature centers, residential setting to hands on conservation work in the field Dave and his team at Ponds and Plants can do it all."

-Lonnie McCaskill

Assistant Director of Facilities 

& Curator of Animals-

Prospect Park Zoo,

IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group,

Co Chair East and Southeast Asia,

Board Turtle Survival Alliance

Ponds & Plants, Oxbow Meadows

       Oxbow Meadows 


       Learning Center

"Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center has relied upon Mr. David Manser and his companies, Ponds and Plants and C.O.R.E, as virtually our only exhibit designer and fabricator since I arrived 5 years ago.  The quality of his work is without comparison and he stands behind his product ensuring clients are more than satisfied. I have and will continue to recommend his services to other centers, and rest assured, if we have any concepts for potential new additions, David and his team will be the first ones we contact.  If it can be envisioned....they can make it come to life.  I wholeheartedly endorse their work.  You will not be disappointed." 

-Dr. Michael Dentzau

Executive Director and Assistant Professor of Science Education.


Friends of Steele Creek

When we started the development of our nature center we hoped to use artisans and craftsmen local to our region. Little did we know that one of our first candidates was capable of producing world-class natural exhibits and environments. Since then, Ponds & Plants has combined scientific integrity with a unique understanding of “play” so our exhibits will leave a lasting impression and make learning fun. 
Early in the process we also challenged ourselves to use local and recycled materials wherever possible. As a result, P&P has helped our environments become a unique wonderland of trees made from scrap wood, cave walls filled with indigenous discovery materials, and live habitats that are part fantasy and part authentic environments collected from materials found in the park. 
Ponds & Plants can invent and create but they also work to budgets and honor deadlines as reliable professionals. Thanks to their contributions, our local nature center is quickly becoming an important interpretive center and a fun, family-oriented destination recognized throughout the tristate region. 

-Ed Hackley

Exhibit Design Director

Steele Creek Nature Center

Ed Hackley Design

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