Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands that fill with water each year but typically dry out during some part of the year. The northern and northwestern areas of Cullen Park have vernal pools in low areas with where water collects in the Spring and drys up in later Summer months.

DucksCullenParkVernalPoolApril8-2012Cullen Park Vernal Pool with Ducks April 8, 2012
Near the park entrance and Mayfly Tavern

Starting in August 2015, the northern area of the park is being enhanced in a project called “Maumee River Best Management Practices At Cullen Park”. There will be green infrastructure improvements in the form of vernal pools and other techniques to manage storm runoff and improve water quality.

Planting native grasses, trees, shrubs, and other plants in and around the pools will help increase biodiversity of plants and animals found at Cullen Park. There will be educational signs and a new “nature trail” with boardwalks passing over the wetland areas.

Vernal Pools – Online Resources

Ohio’s Hidden Wonders: A Guide to the Animals and Plants of Vernal Pools is a field guide dedicated to the animals and plants of Ohio’s vernal pools.

“Ohio Vernal Pools” – Ohio Environmental Council Video Series

  • Introduction to “Ohio Vernal Pools: Diamonds in the Rough” – Video
  • Features & Benefits – Video
  • Threats to Protection – Video
  • Spotted Salamander – Video
  • Wood Frog – Video
  • Fairy Shrimp – Video
  • Monitoring a Vernal Pool – Video
  • Conclusion – Video

Vernal Pool Wikipedia Article


Diagram Showing Park Features
Note: This diagram is an older version. Features at the park may be slightly different.

Best Management Practices

“Best Management Practices (BMPs) is a term used to describe a type of water pollution control. Stormwater BMPs are techniques, measures, or structural controls used to manage the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff. The goal of BMPs is to reduce or eliminate the contaminates collected by stormwater as it moves into streams and rivers” – US EPA

  1. Preservation of Existing Vegetation – Keeping existing, native vegetation on-site creates natural buffer zones, stabilizes soils, minimizes erosion and slows storm water run-off protects water quality and provides aesthetic benefits.
  2. Vernal Pools – Vernal pools are shallow depressions in the landscape where water collects, but does not remain year-round. These pools fill with water in the spring and dry up in the later summer months. Vernal pools are crucial for the development of amphibian life-cycles, and provide safe locations where predators of amphibians do not exist.
    2a., 2c., 2d. Semi-Shaded Vernal Pool
    2b. Sunny Vernal Pool
  3. Boardwalks – Boardwalks above wetland areas provide protection to sensitive environments by keeping foot traffic about and out of these areas.
  4. Rip Rap Outlet Protection – Outlet protection reduces the speed of water flow and thus, reduces erosion and scouring at storm water outlets. Outlet protection also lowers the potential for downstream erosion and assists with removing sediment and pollutants.
  5. Vegetated Filter Strips – Vegetated filter strips are planted areas that are designed to treat sheet flow runoff from adjacent surfaces. Filter strips function by slowing runoff velocities and filtering out sediment and other pollutants. In turn, this helps to prevent soil erosion and contamination.
  6. Rigid L.I.P Level Spreaders – Level spreaders are measures that reduce the erosive energy of water by distributing runoff as sheet flow, stabilizing vegetated surfaces. By diffusing water flow, they improve water quality by filtering out sediment and pollutants.
  7. Vegetated Swales – Channels that provide treatment and retention as they move stormwater from one place to another. Vegetated swales can slow, infiltrate, and filter stormwater flow.
  8. Naturalized Prairie and Tree Plantings – Permanent seeding of native grasses and planting of trees and shrubs provides soil stabilization, reduces sediment runoff to downstream areas, promotes greater infiltration of water into the soil, filters sediments and pollutants, improves wildlife habitats and enhances the aesthetics of a site.
  9. Wetland Preservation – Preserve and enhance the existing wetlands on-site. In doing so , natural habitat will be maintained, thus preserving the homes to flora and fauna found in and around the preserved habitat.
  10. Gravel Verge – Gravel verges allows water to infiltrate quickly off of pavement, minimizing the amount of run-off in a rain event. They aid in preventing erosion and cycle water back into the water table.