Spring is slowly sneaking up on us again. Thankfully, it’s time to switch our attention to the changes going on as the snow melts and everything begins to defrost. There are few better things to watch and examine in the spring than vernal pools. As the name implies, vernal pools generally hold water through the spring and then largely dry up for the rest of the year. During the first months of spring however, they hold plenty of water and serve as one of nature’s breeding grounds supporting an explosion of activity.

Unfortunately vernal pools, like the rest of our wetlands, are disappearing from our landscapes. When not holding water, they blend into the landscape and do not appear to be good habitat, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are valuable and important resources within our ecosystems. Some species of frogs and salamanders are highly dependent on vernal pools as their main breeding locations. In fact, once you learn about them, you will understand that vernal pools are actually beautiful areas, loaded with plant species as well as our amphibian friends.

To help you learn more about vernal pools, MBI and the Ohio Wetlands Association are again teaming up within the Ohio Vernal Pools Partnership to present our Vernal Pool Workshops for 2016. You can get information on the MBI website at www.midwestbiodiversityinst.org or on the OWA website at www.ohwetlands.org/workshops.html. These workshops not only provide background information on vernal pool ecology, but they will get you into the field to experience the beauty of vernal pools first-hand. Don’t miss this opportunity; sign up now!