A Frog House, although not open most of the time this year, was busily engaged advocating at the state and local levels, collaborating with friends and like minded community members, and educating through our A Frog House events as well as our blogs. More about those activities in a moment, but first, some important news!
Nuts and Bolts
Like our role model frog charity, SAVE THE FROGS!, we now are a true nonprofit, incorporated as of February 23, 2020, with a tax-exempt status. All donations are tax deductible, so we are delighted to provide our donors a financial benefit, as well as having a new level of credibility for our endeavors.
On our payroll since August, Emily Johnson-Erday, director of communications, and since September, Jeannie Sheneman, director of operations, have joined up as teammates. In very short order, they pulled off a successful End-of-Year Fundraiser. We are grateful to have had the ongoing help of Stephanie Baum and Katherine Denison. While none of us are herpetologists, we do care about these little froggies and hope you do as well.
Forming our Board was another important development. Over outdoor tea and brunch on our beautiful property, we popped the question to the best possible people we could imagine.
Here is an official welcome to our new affiliates, Pearl Brunt, Eileen Buholtz, Sandra Frankel, Bonnie Garner, Nannette Nocon, and continuing thanks to Lindsay Graham. Each of them has something special to offer A Frog House, and we are excited to hear from them at our first Board meeting in late February.
Score one for contacting your politicians – we petitioned for a state-wide bill and it got passed!
In December, Governor Cuomo considered a bill that bans the use of glyphosate (the herbicide RoundUp) on state property. We at A Frog House see this ban as a huge step toward protecting wildlife biodiversity as well as the health of humans and domestic animals.
We wrote an open letter and petitioned the governor to sign the bill. We’d like to think he read our words and signed because of us, but either way we are thrilled with the result.
No, we aren’t amphibian specialists, but we know how to get people together. For our April 25th Save the Frogs Day Nature Symposium webinar, A Frog House was able to recruit the top local names in all the causes we feel most passionate about, bringing together new and old friends.
Save the Frogs Day was supposed to team up with the Town’s Earth Day and the Village’s Arbor Day celebrations, but at the last minute, Covid forced us to pivot and change a live event to an online space. Sadly the Town and Village events had to be cancelled.
In May, A Frog House joined the newly renamed Climate Solutions Accelerator (formerly the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition). The Accelerator supports CYCG (Color Your Community Green).
Finally, in September, the Accelerator identified enough people to start our own Color Pittsford Green subcommittee. Lo and behold, this brought us together to team up with even more new and old friends, including in Color Penfield Green, RAICA, Pesticide Free Pittsford, Barefoot Permaculture and more.
Subjects included the harmfulness of lawn and garden chemicals, intersectional justice,local frogs, and riparian areas along the Erie Canal, and protecting the littlest and weakest as well as the biggest and most powerful.
Although COVID shut down some events we were all looking forward to, we were still able to provide some safe fun and education.
Our June crafts and our July art events were cancelled, but we made up for these with our outdoor, Covid safe version of our biggest annual fundraiser, our Froggy Birthday Party. This year it coincided to the day with A Frog House Founder, Margot Fass, 80th birthday.
Social distance was achieved by sending guests on a frog focused educational Scavenger Hunt. Pittsford Village Northfield Commons and Schoen place participated as sites and with gifts.
Patty Love had shown us how to make paper cups from newspaper, planters for our prolific 3 Rose of Sharon seeders, so we were able to give out hundreds of little baby treelings.
We also added on an event in October with friends, volunteers, donors, and board members. This took the form of an educational tour of the Erie Canal aboard the Sam Patch, focusing on the history of these riparian areas so important to frogs. Participants chimed in with spontaneous dissertations on fossils from the Shales, and contributed to a drawing for 2 dinners from Aladdins.
There’s quite a bit more to look forward to from us in 2021, so stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll give you an early look at all our goings-on. Make sure you follow us on social media (We’re on Instagram, and have both a Facebook Page and a Group where you can join our online community) so you’ll be sure to hear about our future events!
We extend our thanks to all of you! None of this year’s work would have been possible, and none will be possible this coming year, without the support you have shown us.
Above all, we are grateful to you for your commitment to our cause, being part of A Frog House by attending events, signing petitions, donating, and keeping up with our updates here and online.
We are immensely grateful to have your presence in our community, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
May your year be filled with joyful frogs!
A Frog House