Exploring Vernal Pools in Western MA

Exploring Vernal Pools in Western MA

Want to get involved in protecting vernal pools in Western MA? The Berkshire Environmental Action Team has put together guidelines and a video on how to go about certifying a vernal pool, which will lead to it's protection. This is a great way for families to participate as citizen scientists and local environmental activists! Click on images to find out more. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Are your kids studying life cycles, ecology or habitats?  Have you thought about taking them to check out a vernal pool in your area?  These ephemeral habitats are wonderful places for exploring and for supplementing an interest in nature science.  Every spring there are often facilitated community events to participate in with your family to explore vernal pools.  Here are upcoming events happening in Western MA:

  • Saturday, March 31st from 5:30-9pm in Easthampton,  mysterious creatures and critters come alive in the woods at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary!  Families can take a guided tour (leaving the visitor’s center every 15 minutes) of the woods to characters who live in the vernal pools at the sanctuary.  There will be frogs, salamanders, fairy shrimp, and more!  Along with the tours will be games, presentations, and real live pond critters for kids to meet.  Celebrate spring and the unique habitats created by the change in seasons!  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road. ($)
  • Saturday, April 7th from 1-3pm in Florence, join biologist Brandon Abbott in exploring vernal pools near Fitzgerald Lake!  Sponsored by the Kestrel Trust, the event will allows students an opportunity to learn about the creatures that live in vernal pools and the role that the unique habitat plays in the local ecosystem during the spring.  Registration required.  413-549-1097. (FREE)
  • Saturday, April 28th at 10am in Heath, families can explore the vernal pools at Maitland Memorial Forest this morning with Red Gate Farm!  Kids will learn to spot special pool creatures like fairy shrimp, wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and more!  Dress for wet walking, registration required.  413-625-9151  x108.  Route 8A. ($)
  • Saturday, April 28th from 1-2:15pm in Turners Falls, families can learn all about vernal pools at the Great Falls Discovery Center!  The presentation will include information for kids on what vernal pools are, the species that live in them, and their importance within ecosystems.  There will even be some live specimens of types of amphibians that can be found in vernal pools!  Great opportunity to learn about biology – check out your backyard for vernal pools when you get home!  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.   (FREE)
  • Sunday, May 20th at 10am in North Adams, families can learn about and explore vernal pools in the Hoosac Range!  Students will learn how to identify wood frog and salamander eggs, and will learn about the importance of the pools within the local ecosystem.  Sponsored by the Berkshires Natural Resource Council.  Call to register.  413-499-0596.  Route 2.  (FREE)

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