Northern Michigan in Focus: Vernal Pool

Have you ever taken a walk through the woods and come across those wet, mucky areas?

Well, as it turns out, there’s a lot going on in that muck. Corey Adkins explains in this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus.

“Going to a vernal pool with your family is a lot of fun,” said Josephine Roberts with the Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy.

Vernal pools? We’re not talking waterslides and wave pools here. We’re talking about dead leaves, mud, bugs, and nature doing what it does.  So what is a vernal pool?

“Vernal pools are temporary wetlands in North America and essentially they are breeding grounds for different species of amphibians and insects that are a bigger part of the food web,” explained Josephine.

These pools are a vital part of our ecosystem. 

There’s a lot going on inside this water. Our friends from the Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy caught and showed us some of the cycles of life in these pools.  We checked out tadpoles and all sorts of creatures darting back and forth.

This weekend you can get hands dirty and learn about these important pieces of our environment.

“This weekend we have partnered with Michigan State through a grant that we received in partnership with Great Lakes Energy to be able to train families and volunteers to monitor our Vernal Pools in the springtime and in the fall. We will have that training at the Talcott Center in Walloon Lake village from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday. Families, individuals, all interested in the slippery and slimy creatures but are also interested in helping to just be out in the woods and monitoring these awesome eco-systems are appreciated,” said Josephine.

Slippery and slimy may be better than a keyboard or a phone.

“Anything from earthworms to different bug species to a lot of amphibians.  Once you get here and, of course, frog catching is just a great pastime for good Northern Michigan,” explained Josephine.

Who would have thought a vernal pool could be so cool?

“Vernal Pools are very, very cool,” said Josephine.

Categories: Northern Michigan In Focus