Please join us for our annual Vernal Pools field trips hosted by Herpetology Club! This series is only open to NHSM MEMBERS ONLY. Because of the limited time and space for participants, we are asking that you only sign up for 1 event in the series. This will hopefully allow all interested to participate. If there are open spaces leading up to the event, we will invite folks to join a second trip.

Vernal pools are special habitats, created by melting winter snow and spring rains. At this time of year, they are teeming with life – they become mating and breeding pools for just a few species of frogs and salamanders. These amphibians leave their winter hibernation in the woodlands to find mates, lay their eggs, and have their young hatch and develop in this ephemeral, watery environment.

There will be two locations we are exploring this year- our traditional Gunpowder location and Frederick Municipal Forest. There will be 2 dates per locations as well as a rain date should the weather/ environmental timing effect the primary day. Participants will receive the specifics for event once registered.

All Trip Dates and locations: *Please note this page registers you for the March 18th Frederick Municipal Forest Event. if you would like to attend another event, please click on the date below and it will take you to that registration page.

Gunpowder Vernal Pool Trips
Trip 1 HERP CLUB only: March 11th
Trip 2 ALL NHSM Members: April 1st

Frederick Municipal Forest
Trip 1 HERP CLUB only: March 18th
Trip 2 ALL NHSM Members: April 8th

We want everyone to have a great experience! We don’t want to damage the habitat and we certainly don’t want to hurt the little critters we love so much. Therefore, we ask participants not to enter the vernal pools. We will have nets to collect from the edge and aquariums to observe everything we find. Please help us out by listening to the trip leaders!

Specific Frederick Municipal Forest Program information:

Join us at a vernal pool in Fredrick Municipal Forest! We will spend the evening with Herp club leader Adam Frederick searching for critters that leave their comfortable winter hideouts to engage in their spring nuptials. They include Wood Frogs, Spotted Salamanders, Red-spotted Newts, and of course, Spring Peepers. And there are plenty of other species to see at night in the spring.

(And we don’t care what the calendar says, spring starts when the frogs start calling!)

Location: Frederick Municipal Forest

Leader: Adam Frederick

Difficulty: Easy walk to the vernal pool.

*Please note due to the nature of these programs we are holding the following date: March 18th as a weather hold. We will plan to go on which ever night had the best conditions.