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Vernal Pool Project

A total of 10 vernal pools were installed at the following areas:

Cumming Nature Center

Muller Field Station

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area

Wesley Hill Preserve

Vernal pools, also called ephemeral pools, are temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. The pools are a type of wetland, usually without fish, that allows safe development of amphibian and insect species unable to withstand competition or predation by fish. Most vernal pools are dry for at least part of the year, and fill with spring rains and winter snow melt. Some pools may remain at least partially filled with water over the course of a year, but all vernal pools dry up periodically. Upland areas around a vernal pool are critical to the survival of some species. Many amphibians that breed only in vernal pools spend most of their lives in the uplands within a few hundred feet of the pool. Eggs are laid in the vernal pool, then juveniles leave the pool two or three months later, returning the following spring to breed.


Many more vernal pools enriched Finger Lakes landscapes in prior decades, but were drained for agricultural or development reasons. Opportunities to view wildlife are among reasons that private homeowners might wish to create or restore a vernal pool on their property. Flood mitigation, groundwater infiltration, water storage and habitat enrichment for many species of plants and animals are additional benefits of the created vernal pools. 

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