Shepherd’s Corner Wetland

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. Rachel Carson Vernal Pool Vernal pools are typically small wetlands that are only flooded in the late winter through early summer. These temporary wetlands provide a safe place for amphibians to breed each spring. Amphibians that may make this newly restored area part of their life cycle include fairy shrimp, wood frogs and mole salamanders. Typical vegetation found in vernal pool areas are sedges, cardinal flower, marsh marigold, common buttonbush, swamp white oak, silver maple to name only a few. Walk across the boardwalk and get a close up view of a vernal pool. Come in the spring and in fall and see the difference in the habitat

 

Shepherd’s Corner: Wetlands and vernal pools

Shepherd’s Corner Ecology Center is home to many ecosystems. Among which are woodlands, fields, forests, a riparian corridor, and wetland/vernal pool areas. Through the fields and woods low lying areas vernal pools, a type of wetland generally present in early spring through early summer, can be found. Wetlands are integral to the ecosystems that surround them as they help with flood control, filter water, and provide habitat for many creatures. One of these such areas is highlighted on out meditation trail. A small wetland area, created in a space that was once a vernal pool.

 

Wetland/Vernal pool enhancement: 2012 – 2013

When the meditation trail was created the Resilience station was installed at a vernal pool. A vernal pool is a type of wetland that holds water during the spring. In 2012 Shepherd’s Corner received funding through WHIP (Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program), which was associated with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This funding allowed Shepherd’s Corner to enhance the seasonal vernal pool. The following images show the transformation process of vernal pool to established wetland. A grant from The Green Fund (part of The Columbus Foundation) allowed for the completion of a boardwalk above the enhanced wetland, allowing visitors to get even closer to the wetland.

 

Grassy green area with a low muddy spot. This low muddy spot is a vernal pool.
Vernal pool as it existed before the wetland was created. (2012)
A bench sits on a platform, facing away from the vernal pool area.
Viewing platform for the vernal pool prior to the installation of the wetland. (2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking out from the platform in the previous picture toward soil exposed. This cleared area will be is where the wetland will be.
Vernal pool area as it was beginning to be cleared for the creation of the current wetland. (2012)
Individual on a bob cat, small digging device, digging a drainage trench in the exposed dirt.
Digging the overflow drainage for the wetland being constructed. (2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Square concrete opening in the dirt. This was the dirt that the bobcat in the previous picture was moving to crate a drainage path for wetland overflow. Most of picture is soil with the concrete drain as the subject.
Concrete drain that was placed as overflow for the wetland. (2012)
Over 12 4x4 wooden posts inserted into the ground. This is in the same area where the previous pictures are, the space that will be the wetland. These numerous posts will be the base for the walkway over the wetland.
Posts that will be the supports for the boardwalk over the wetland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wooden plank board walk, with hand rails. This board walk is atop the area that will be the wetland that is covered in straw.
Completed wooden boardwalk over the wetland area.
Completed wooden boardwalk over the wetland that is now filled with water.
Boardwalk over the wetland area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wetland Renovation: Fall 2020 – Spring of 2021

Bradley Teynor, of Boy Scout troop 826, completed his Eagle Scout project at Shepherd’s Corner this spring. This project centered around our small on site wetland/vernal pool area. It included the removal of non native plants and the addition of some that are native. Plants removed included amur honeysuckle and autumn olive. Buttonbush, redosier dogwood, arrowwood viburnum, tussock sedge, soft rush, cardinal flower, and great blue lobelia were among the native plants that were added to enhance the wetland area. Bradley and his volunteers also built four benches. These benches can be found on our meditation trail as resting spots. In addition to the benches Bradley’s project included the construction and installation of two bat houses. These bat houses can be seen at the Web of Life meditation trail station where one of the benches made by Bradley and his volunteers has also been placed.

Here is the wetland guide that Bradley created related to his project.

 

Rendering of the placement of plants in wetland renewal by the eagle award project.
Rendering of location of plants added by the Eagle Award project.

 

Two boy scouts working to bag invasive plants removed from the wetland area. They are working to fill a brown yard waste bag.
Invasive plants that were removed were bagged up.
Three bout scout troop members working to fill brown yard waste paper bags. One is opening a new bag while another individual stuffs invasive plants into a nearly full bag.
Bagging up the invasive plants as they were removed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A hand saw, small clippers, and a hatchet that were used as implements to remove invasives.
Some of the tools used to remove honeysuckle & autumn olive
Three boy scout troop members sitting on four new benches made for our meditation trail.
Benches made by Bradley & troop 826 for the meditation trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three boy scout troop members placing the benches they have made on the meditation trail.
Bench, made as a part of Bradley’s Eagle Award Project, being placed on the meditation trail.

 

 

 

Four individuals, one in foreground holding a shovel. They are getting ready to plant native plants in the wetland area.
Native plants being added to the wetland.
Three individuals standing in a field in foreground. In background, two tall, slim bat houses on posts.
Bat houses after they had been placed in an open field near the wetland area.
Bradley, sitting on one of the four benches that were made as part of his Eagle Award project.