Millions of years of geology and evolution have created the spectacular vernal pools at Sacramento County’s Mather Field. These are exceptional examples of a rare wetland ecosystem that is unique to California. Visitors can experience this piece of California’s natural history, just 30 minutes from downtown Sacramento.
What is a Vernal Pool?
A vernal pool is a temporary wetland that fills with water during the rainy season and dries down in the spring. It remains dry for six to eight months awaiting the next winter rains. The plants and animals that are adapted to survive these annual extremes of flood and drought create a changing mosaic of life throughout the three phases of a vernal pool: wet, flowering and dry.
Through our Lifelong Learning classes and Love of Learning (LOL) series, you will meet scientists who live and work in our region as they share what they know and love about exploring life outdoors. These experiences at Splash can open eyes, warm hearts and expand minds to possibilities for future exploration and pursuits.
Many professional scientists in our region work with nature as their job. They make a living practicing science. However, thousands more lay scientists practice scientific investigation as a pastime and study nature for fun. In fact, many lay scientists become experts in their field of interest because they love nature and they love learning about it.
For lifelong learners, there is always more to explore and investigate in nature. Many professional and lay scientists spend time sharing their knowledge with young people, hoping that nature exploration will give them the joy that they experience. Most believe that every generation inherits the work (and the fun) of preserving wildlife from the previous generation, and is responsible for passing it on to the next one.
Here are some examples of the fields of study that professional and lay scientists pursue…
The Splash Education Center is home to a collection of live animals that are found in the vernal pool grassland or other local habitats. These animals live in a room in the Splash Center that we call “Critterville.”
Sacramento Splash never takes healthy animals out of the wild. We only keep critters that would be unable to survive on their own, either because they were injured or because they were captive prior to coming to Splash. Check out the links below to read about the amazing animals that call Critterville home.
Support from the community makes it possible to continue serving the 80+ classes of 4th/5th graders who want to come to Splash. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Splash is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Tax ID #41-2160618.
“If one day I see a small bird and recognize it, a thin thread will form between me and that bird. If I just see it but don’t really recognize it, there is no thin thread. If I go out tomorrow and see and really recognize that same individual small bird again, the thread will thicken and strengthen just a little. Every time I see and recognize that bird, the thread strengthens. Eventually it will grow into a string, and then a cord, and finally a rope. This is what it means to be a Bushman. We make ropes with all aspects of&