Vernal Pools

Vernal pool in springtime
A vernal pool in springtime

Vernal pools are dynamic, seasonal wetlands that dot Ohio’s natural landscape. Vernal pools fill up annually but typically dry out during some part of the year. 

These small wetlands fill with spring rain and snow melt, blossom with life, and host a cacophony of sounds and a plethora of life forms every spring, only to disappear into the forest floor every autumn. 

Vernal pools are vital to Ohio’s environment. They:

  • improve water quality;
  • serve as a bellwether wetland;
  • hold flood waters;
  • provide habitat to hundreds of species, including migratory birds; and
  • are an excellent educational tool. 

Read and download our Vernal Pool Fact Sheet.


OEC's Vernal Pool Program

The OEC coordinates a Vernal Pool Conservation & Education Program to help protect these special places. You can help Ohio's vernal pools by becoming part of the programs and utilizing OEC’s vernal pool field guide, monitoring forms, fact sheets, and other tools. The OEC is also a founding partner of the Ohio Vernal Pool Partnership.

Support local efforts to find and monitor vernal pools:

  • Educate your community about vernal pools and their importance by raising awareness and talking with your neighbors.
  • Join the Ohio Vernal Pools Partnership listserv to keep up-to-date with the vernal pool community in Ohio. Contact us at or (614) 487-7506 to be added to the list.
  • Attend an OEC Vernal Pool Workshop. View our calendar of events.
  • Review OEC's vernal pool publications and monitoring forms and database.


Vernal pool workshop
OEC’s Vernal Pool Program

The Vernal Pool Education & Conservation Program educates citizen-scientists to help protect Ohio’s vernal pools.

 Read more
Red spotted newt
Publications & Monitoring Tools

Review our vernal pool field guide, educational DVD, and variety of monitoring forms.


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Ohio Vernal Pool Partnership & Database

The database collects and displays data from vernal pools across the state to help in their protection and restoration.

 View the database