Threatened wetlands subject of weekend program at Shale Hollow Park


The addition of a vernal pool for the backyard may help reverse a trend of their disappearance from Ohio.

This type of wetland is a depression located in a forested landscape with precipitation or underground as it water sources. Vernal pools are inhabited by become a home for a variety of organisms such as spotted salamanders and wood frogs. But they are often dry for much of the year and become a target for development because they’re usually not recognized as wetlands.

“Vernal pools are really disappearing from all of the urban areas,” said Mick Micacchion, a wetlands ecologist at Midwest Biodiversity Institute, a Hillard-based nonprofit that studies aquatic resources.

Vernal pools, he said, are valuable because they provide a lot of biodiversity and aid in flood control.

Ohio has lost 90 percent of its wetland area over the last 200 years from 5 million acres to about 500,000, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Micacchion said the chance to find a high-quality vernal pool is nonexistent.

He hopes to inspire advocates of wetlands, especially vernal pools, during a presentation organized by Wild Ones Columbus at McKay Lodge of Shale Hollow Park, 6320 Artesian Run, in Lewis Center, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The ecologist has studied wetlands for 25 years and has worked for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Micacchion will discuss characteristics comprising of vernal pools, other wetlands, and pond habitats, focusing on how to develop the aquatic resource with natural habitat features. He said the cost to build a vernal pool varies depends on a lot of variables such as size, location and amount of resources put into the project.

The presentation is free and open to the public, but some members of Wild Ones plan to attend to learn as much about vernal pools. The Wisconsin-based nonprofit is an environmental education and advocacy organization with more 50 chapters nationwide.

“Wild Ones members want to better understand all aspects of habitats in order to do what is necessary to protect and maintain the health of existing native habitats as well as to replace non-native habitats with habitats such as vernal pools, wetlands and ponds,” said Cecelia Jokerst, president of the Columbus chapter, in an email.

“We strive to do this on our own property even if we’re only able to maintain foundation garden beds around our house with some native plants, shrubs and trees; or pots of plants for pollinators on an apartment patio.”

Additionally, the space for the presentation at Shale Hollow Preserve was provided by Preservation Parks of Delaware County. Saundra McBrearty, an outreach specialist for Preservation, said the wetlands event was nice way to partner with Wild Ones Columbus.

For information go to

Mick Micacchion is a wetlands ecologist with 25 years of experience. He will be giving a presentation about wetlands and vernal pools and their benefits at Shale Hollow Park on March 11. Micacchion is a wetlands ecologist with 25 years of experience. He will be giving a presentation about wetlands and vernal pools and their benefits at Shale Hollow Park on March 11. Courtesy Photo

By Brandon Klein

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• Ohio Wesleyan’s Perkins Observatory, 3199 Columbus Pike (U.S. 23), Delaware, 8 p.m. Friday. The program’s content varies based on sky conditions but may include a planetarium show, observatory tours, and stargazing with the 32-inch Schottland Telescope. Advance tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for children and senior citizens. Reserve tickets by calling 740-363-1257. Learn more at

• Harry Potter Trivia Night, Delaware Main Library, 84 E. Winter St., 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday. Teams of two to six players will test their knowledge of the popular book series and its movie adaptations. Costumes are welcomed and encouraged. The top team will win a prize. Those under 14 will need to accompanied by a parent or guardian. The event is limited to 25 people. To register go to

• The 26th annual Buckeye Dulcimer Festival, Recreation Unlimited, 7700 Piper Road, near Ashley. For information visit

• Barley Hopsters’ Beer Tournament, 1 N. Sandusky St., Delaware, 4 p.m. Sunday. The craft beer and home brewing supply store of more than 700 worldwide beers will take the top 64 selling beers to seed off in a competition, based on on weekly individual sales, to coincide with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The event will have a tasting of the beers that made the cut, a pot-luck dinner, a screening of “Space Jam” and to watch the actual NCAA selection at 6 p.m. For information go to

Email your event to [email protected].


Friday & Saturday

Get Out (R): [2 p.m.], 5 p.m., 8 p.m.

Kong: Skull Island (PG-13): [2:15 p.m.], 5:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m.

Logan (R): [2:30 p.m.], 5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.

Note: Times in [brackets] are Saturday only.


Get Out (R): 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m.

Kong: Skull Island (PG-13): 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m.

Logan (R): 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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