University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

Students focus on vernal pools for 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit

Every spring, vernal pools formed by rain and runoff appear throughout the state of Delaware, providing essential habitats and breeding grounds for species such as frogs and insects—who can take advantage of the areas because of their lack of predators—and a variety of shrub and herbaceous plant communities. While these areas provide ecosystem services for plants and wildlife, vernal pools are currently not a protected ecosystem in the state of Delaware.

To help bring awareness to these areas, University of Delaware students decided to highlight vernal pools as part of their “Delmarva Bays Spring to Life” exhibit which will be on display Saturday, March 3 through Sunday, March 11 as part of the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This year’s overall show theme is Wonders of Water.

The idea of using vernal pools for the exhibit came from Olivia Kirkpatrick, a senior majoring in landscape architecture, who is a student in Jules Bruck’s Design Process Practicum class.

Members of that class help with the flower show build for the first part of the class and then spend the second half of the class developing ideas that eventually became the design for next year’s flower show.