Conservation Commission Approves LEC Vernal Pool Assessment; No Pools To Be Certified

Last summer, Northampton’s Conservation Commission voted to request vernal pool assessment on Kohl Construction’s property off North Street. Vernal pools are rare and fragile environments that enjoy special protection in Northampton’s Wetlands Ordinance.

This spring, Kohl hired LEC Environmental Consultants to determine if his vernal pools merited certification. This work was monitored by Hyla Ecological Services, a firm hired by the North Street Neighborhood Association (NSNA).

LEC did find fingernail clams and air-breathing snails in various pools. These are “facultative” species that do well in vernal pools but don’t require them. LEC did not find “obligate” species–such as frogs–that require vernal pools to complete their life cycle.

LEC concludes that “none of the five depressions studied truly meet the criteria for certification as Vernal Pool habitat”. Hyla concurs with this assessment, and the Conservation Commission accepted LEC’s report on June 12.

Click to download a PDF of LEC’s Vernal Pool Assessment

Click to download a PDF of Hyla’s review of LEC’s Assessment

Here is a Google video of LEC presenting its Vernal Pool Assessment to the Conservation Commission (22 min):


While vernal pools may not officially reside within the woods and wetlands off North Street, these park-like five and half acres remain precious to residents and poorly suited for development. NSNA is working hard to find ways to conserve this land.

See also:

Photo Essay: Arbor Day and the North Street Woods

Northampton Redoubt: Videos and photographs of a walking tour of North Street Northampton’s Mill Yard Brook and vernal pools

Photo Essay: 10 Reasons People Like Trees Around Them; Will the Sustainable Northampton Plan Put Urban Trees at Risk?

Photo Essay: Millyard Brook Swells with Water in Winter

Photo Essay: Our Woods in Winter

Photo Essay: The Forest Behind View Avenue