A free Vernal Pools Monitor Training will take place on Tuesday, February 6 from 4pm-6pm at Brooks Township Hall: 490 Quarterline St, Newaygo, 49337. This will be Part 1, the indoor session of the two session class. Part 2 will be the hands-on field work, complete with vernal pools monitoring, to be held on April 4, 4pm – 6pm, at the North Country Trail – Trailhead on 40th Street, White Cloud.
The Newaygo County Environmental Coalition invites community members to become “Citizen Scientists” to help identify and monitor these elusive short lived ponds that are vital to the health of our diverse environment. Although the class is geared toward older youth and adults, vernal pool monitoring can be a family activity. Attendees of this class will be prepared to join the Newaygo Vernal Pool Patrol for outdoor fieldwork when the spring thaws begin.
Vernal pools, also known as ephemeral pools or temporary woodland ponds, are small wetlands that fill with water during the autumn or winter due to rainfall and rising groundwater. These isolated pools lack continuous connections with larger bodies of water, making them ideal breeding grounds for a variety of amphibians and invertebrates that would be prey for lake and stream fish. Often referred to as the coral reefs of the forest, vernal pools are home to indicator species such as Fairy shrimp, Wood frogs, Spotted salamanders, and Blue-spotted salamanders.
“Newaygo County’s vernal pools are waiting to be discovered and protected,” states Katie Clark of NCEC, and the Newaygo Region’s Vernal Pool Patrol Coordinator. “Many people have vernal pools on their property, or near where they live. We often do not think much of them. But by joining the Vernal Pool Patrol you will become a guardian of these unique habitats.
“Monitoring vernal pools is a great activity for families, even with young children. What kid doesn’t like putting on their boots and walking in the water?” added Katie. “Together, we can support the beauty and sustainability of our environment and ensure that future generations can enjoy the wonders of Newaygo County. Join us at this training and make a difference!”
The Vernal Pool Patrol, organized by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, is one of the pioneering statewide vernal pool monitoring programs in the country. This program owes its success to the dedicated community scientists who are passionate about nature and committed to preserving Michigan’s unique ecosystems. As part of the larger Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership, the Vernal Pool Patrol aims to advance vernal pool research and conservation across the state.
The Vernal Pool Patrol Training on February 6 is free and open to the public. Registration is required by clicking here: Vernal Pool Patrol Training. To learn about the Vernal Pools Patrol visit: MI Vernal Pools. Qutstions? Contact Katie at NCEC: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.nc-ec.org.