What is the Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership?

The Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership (MVPP) is a public/private partnership of nonprofits, conservancies, businesses, individuals, and agencies in Michigan that have organized to strategically work towards increased conservation and understanding of vernal pools across the region.

Conversations about the lack of knowledge of vernal pools in our state began around 2011. An initial advisory board of experts and stakeholders (which later became the MVPP Steering Committee) worked together to adopt a common, working definition of vernal pools.  At the same time, founding partners at the Michigan Natural Features Inventory piloted a community science program, the Vernal Pool Patrol, which would become a living database of documented vernal pools across the state. Now, the Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership consists of 30+ organizational partners, that work towards strategic goals by participating in subcommittees, act as program coordinators for the Vernal Pool Patrol, or contribute their time, resources, and expertise to vernal pool conservation.

Strategic Plan

The partnership's activities are directed by a strategic plan with four main directives...

  • Conservation: Encourage vernal pool conservation through local and state measures

  • Research & Mapping: Understand the status, distribution and ecology of vernal pools to best inform conservation measures.

  • Education & Outreach: Improve awareness, understanding and engagement of land managers, educators, and other targeted audiences to increase effective conservation of vernal pools across Michigan.

  • Collaboration & Coordination: Leverage the experience, expertise and resources of partner organizations and others to maximize impact and accelerate progress.

View our strategic plan here.

Committee Structure

Each directive has a dedicated subcommittee working towards strategic plan goals and organized under a steering committee with 13 individuals across 9 organizations. The steering committee will address general administrative needs, ensure continued progress, consider new programs and initiatives proposed by the subcommittees, and approve partnership materials. Each of these groups meet 3-4 times a year or as needed, and subcommittee members contribute by offering their expertise, input in decision making, and organizational resources when possible.


Who can partner with the MVPP?

In order to meet the broad goals of the partnership, diverse and widespread partnership across jurisdictional scales is key! The Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership is made up of non-profits, businesses, local, state, and federal agencies, watershed groups, land conservancies, parks, teachers, universities and more. View our organizational partners here.

Additionally, the MVPP welcomes multiple definitions of partnership, based on organizational affiliation and engagement level.

  • Organizational Engagement: my organization is or would like to be engaged with MVPP by participating in subcommittees and working towards strategic plan goals
  • Individual Engagement: I am or would like to be engaged with MVPP as I am able, but do not represent a organization
  • Mission Support: My organization or I support the goals and mission of MVPP, but am unable to be actively engaged at this time

If you or your organization is interested in partnership, please fill out this interest form or reach out to apointer@michigannature.org for more information!

What does partnership with the MVPP look like?

As far as responsibilities go, we ask that organizational & individual partners be active in working towards the described goals of the partnership in some way. This might be serving on a subcommittee, by participating in the Vernal Pool Patrol in some regard, or another way that you or your organization is working towards vernal pool conservation. If your organization is unable to be actively engaged in the MVPP in the ways described, but is still aligned with the mission statement, we classify that as a mission partner!

Vernal Pool Patrol

The Vernal Pool Patrol (VPP) is the community-science arm of the partnership. Little information is currently available on the status, distribution, and ecology of vernal pools in Michigan due to their small size and ephemeral nature. The VPP is a statewide group of trained, community scientists that monitor and collect data on vernal pools in their area. This dedicated group of community scientists contributes their data to a living database that will help inform the conservation of vernal pools. To learn more about getting involved, visit https://vernal-pool-patrol-mnfi.hub.arcgis.com/

Learn more about the MVPP by viewing our Governance document and Strategic Plan below.

File View/Download
MVPP 2018 Strategic Plan View/Download
MVPP Governance, Updated 04_2023 View/Download