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The Land Conservancy offers free amphibian hike

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 1:01 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:15 p.m. CDT

Ever wondered where frogs, turtles and salamanders come from? The public is invited to a free event on April 19th to help The Land Conservancy of McHenry County investigate some of the spring wetlands that provide important habitat for young amphibians.

The hike will take place from 1-3 p.m. at the Community Research Forest, located about one-quarter mile west of Route 14 on Streit Road south of Harvard. The approximate address is 20383 Streit Road.

Vernal Pools, also called ephemeral wetlands or spring ponds, are low-lying areas that temporarily hold water in the spring and early summer, but they usually dry up in the summer and fall. Because these ponds do not have fish, they are important areas for frog, turtle and salamander breeding, feeding and development. In McHenry County, there are a large number of vernal pools found in oak woods, especially on the glacial moraines like Marengo Ridge. 

Participants will receive instruction on proper data collection and recording techniques and will have the opportunity to identify some of the species that are found in these wet areas this time of year. The pools at the Community Research Forest have not been surveyed, so the data collected by participants will establish a baseline of information that will be used for reference as the property is restored in the coming years. 

To register for this free event, contact TLC by email at info@conservemc.org or call 815-337-9502. Dress for the weather and wear waterproof boots. Equipment, survey forms and refreshments will be provided.

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