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Vernal Pool Expedition with Ohio Wetlands Association
May 21 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Ohio Wetlands Association will co-lead this hike into a seldom-seen wet woods with vernal pools.
This event is managed by Ohio Wetlands Association. Registration required. Sign up HERE.
This tract is of very high value for biodiversity, landscape ecology, and hydrological function. It has a rich avian and amphibian component as well as its rich plant community. There were 211 species of plants identified, with fewer than 20 being exotics. The majority of the property is a mosaic of mesic to swampy forest with inclusions of sedgy depressions and vernal pools and buttonbush swamps. At least 26 species of Carex are present at this property. Common forbs include Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), both Allegheny and Sharpwing Monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens, M. alata). Four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum), an Ohio species of special concern has been found here.
We could see some rare plants like Green-Fringed Orchid (Platanthera lacera) right. This mid-summer bloomer grows from a foot to over 2 feet tall in full to partial sun in moist conditions. The narrow growing conditions and need for specific endomycorrhizal soil fungi make it a poor choice for transplanting.
Western Reserve Land Conservancy acquired this property with Clean Ohio funding for Ashland County Park District in 2013/2014. The property is located in an area where the Ashland County Park District has several nearly adjacent properties. This 41-acre tract lies exactly on the continental divide between the Great Lakes/Atlantic Ocean watershed and the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico drainage.
Directions: Meet at the Ashland County Park District Hurdle Waterfowl Park parking lot, 297 Township Road 581, Sullivan take US 224 about 1 mile west of SR 58, then south ½ mile. We will have off trail hiking and wet conditions. Wear boots or waders for best protection.