Vernal Pool Plunge | Huntington | April 16 & 23

Mar 24 2022

Vernal Pool Plunge

Saturday, April 16 & 23, 10am-1pm
Fare-Thee-Well Wholeness Center
153 Pond Brook Road, Huntington MA
Pre-register to attend: https://www.hilltownlandtrust.org/events/vernal-pool-plunge-day-1

Event Details:

Hilltown Land Trust is partnering with the Wild & Scenic Westfield River Committee to offer our annual Vernal Pool Plunge! This two-day, in-person training event is open to anyone interested in learning about the ecology of and becoming advocates for vernal pools in Western Massachusetts, including how to certify vernal pools.

 

A group pf 17 volunteers stand around and inside a small wooded wetland called a Vernal Pool at Hilltown Land Trust's Vernal Pool Plunge event. All volunteers are dressed in rubber knee high rain boots, pants, and raincoats. Many other volunteers are holding long white extendable nets, clipboards and buckets. All these tools are used for the Vernal Pool Plunge training event. The volunteers are standing in front of a large trunk of a white pine tree with long branches and many other species of trees can be seen in the background of the photo including hemlock and maples.
2019 Vernal Pool Plunge volunteers

 

Participants should commit to attending both sessions (04/16 and 04/23). This training is aimed at individuals and families (appropriate for anyone 13 and older) looking to understand these small wetlands that may be on their land or in their towns.

After the two in-person field days, participants will have the opportunity to attend weekly online session after April 23rd that delve into the technical side of vernal pool certification. These trainings will guide participants through the process of certifying vernal pools that are not yet certified through the state of Massachusetts. We will go over online resources such as using MassMapper and uploading vernal pool data to the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) site.

Day 1: We will be seated inside (masks required) for a 1-hour recorded presentation followed by a Q&A with local Naturalist Charley Eiseman. After a short break we will move outside to a guided tour by Charley of the vernal pools on the property. We will provide clipboards, handouts, and reference materials. Bring waterproof knee-high boots, comfortable hiking clothing, bug spray, water, snacks, and any field notebooks you want to use. Be sure to check the weather ahead of time, as this event will be held rain or shine!

Date: Saturday April 16, 2022
Time: 10AM – 1PM
Location: Fare-Thee-Well Wholeness Center
153 Pond Brook Road, Huntington MA 01050
Google Maps link

Day 2: Field day for participants to practice gathering the information required for vernal pool certification. Charley will be there to answer questions, but attendees will be more independent on this day. Precise location and details will be given at the first day of the event on April 16th. We will provide clipboards, handouts, and reference materials. Bring waterproof knee-high boots, comfortable hiking clothing, bug spray, water, snacks, and any field notebooks you want to use. Be sure to check the weather ahead of time, as this event will be held rain or shine!

Date: Saturday April 23, 2022
Time: 3 hours
Location: Plainfield, MA

Weekly online gatherings will be offered via Zoom starting the week after April 23rd (information will be emailed to attendees).

Pricing: $25 for Hilltown Land Trust Members* / $30 for non-members

If cost presents a financial burden, please email audrey@hilltownlandtrust.org for scholarship information.

*To become a member of Hilltown Land Trust for the year, make a gift in any amount to support our efforts to conserve and care for ecologically valuable land in the Hilltowns. If you aren’t a member already, you can become one by making a gift in any amount during the sign up process for this event!

Training is limited to 25 participants. Spaces fill quickly, so be sure to register soon!
For questions, call or email Audrey: 413-628-4485, ext. 4 / audrey@hilltownlandtrust.org

Both days of the event will have components of hiking off trail in terrain that can be steep and wet.

Day 1 of event will take place at the Fare Thee Well Wholeness Center. There is a parking area made of gravel there which is connected to a slightly downhill gravel path leading to the building which we will spend the first half of the day in. For the first hour of the event we will be inside sitting in chairs watching a presentation. For the second half of the day we will hike on a single track trail for about 0.25 miles (5-10 minutes) then bushwhack for less than 200 feet down a slope to a vernal pool wetland. Here we will stand on the side of and occasionally inside the vernal pool with your own rubber boots. We will then take the same path to hike out of the woods and back to the center to end the day. Masks will be mandatory and worn properly covering the mouth and nose at all time inside. There will be NO restrooms at this facility.

Day 2 of the event will take place on a property in Plainfield and will be outside from 10AM-1PM. We will likely need people to carpool from a lot in Cummington due to the lack of parking at the property. More directions will be given during the 1st day on April 16th. This 2nd day will consist of all participants hiking on uneven terrain through tall grasses and bushwhacking through forested areas. We will be walking for less than 1/2 mile total. We will be on our feet the entire duration. There will be NO restrooms at this facility.

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