About A Frog House
A Frog House is a center for local Advocacy, worldwide Collaboration, and ecological Education. We work on behalf of amphibians and the citizens of upstate New York, advocating for chemical free properties, clean water, and healthy wetlands. Our projects include planting trees, restoring vital habitats, and building frog ponds.
We offer workshops and events for all ages to learn about the crucial role of frogs in the environment and to educate people about methods of environmental protection that they can get involved in. We believe every small collective action can bring big results to our world.
We focus on wellness for our community, collaborating with others interested in ecosystems and, in particular, mental health.
Come visit our beautiful property along the banks of the historic Erie Canal, and enjoy Frog Art, Frogabilia, and free information about frogs and their jumping grounds, and see the live frogs that call our tiny ponds home.
We envision a model community creating an environment healthy for all life. This includes:
kindness and compassion toward
all following enlightened practices of
maintaining chemical free properties,
clean wetlands and water, as well as
nitrogen fixing native plants, shrubs, and trees.
The mission of A Frog House is to advocate, collaborate and educate on behalf of frogs and their habitats, which in turn can foster mental and physical health in our community.
Our Plans for 2023
Advocacy for Our Values
Create and maintain properties (at our own expense) that are frog and life friendly as an example to others and assist them in doing the same.
Identify one municipal or private property for a small pond, water garden, and/or sustainable native and edible garden and carry out a simple plan. (we have several good candidates in mind)
Find a municipal or private home for 35 Eastern White Pine in our A Frog House nursery.
Work with like minded groups such as Abundance Coop, Area Colleges and Universities, Audubon Society, Climate Solutions Accelerator, Color Pittsfor Green, Friends of the Robert C Corby Arboretum, Impact Earth, Rochester Ecological Partners, Seneca Park Zoo, Town and Village of Pittsford Environmental Committees and Public Works Departments
Identify the niche A Frog House can occupy to contribute meaningfully to the partners’ goals and objectives.
Maintain an educational library and resources at A Frog House and continue educational events
Collect resources from the above mentioned collaborators and guide visitors to the most suitable places for visiting and becoming involved in if they want something other than A Frog House.
Participate in events sponsored by above mentioned collaborators with information about Frogs and A Frog House.
Sponsor at least three major events in 2023:
A group radio program on Evan Dawson
Webinar on the how to of Building Ponds
Annual Save the Frogs Day (to benefit SAVE THE FROGS!)
Annual Froggy Birthday Party.
In agreement with Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, we support respect, inclusion, nonpartisanship, collaboration, science, and are committed to social, racial, environmental, and intergenerational justice.
A Frog House founder, Margot Fass, is an activist, artist, author, educator, presenter and psychiatrist.
Endangered species, especially frogs, are her passion. Her deep awareness and celebration of the cycles of life, the planet, and its organisms, are reflected in writings about wetland adventures in south and central American countries; her whimsical illustrated children’s book, Froggy Family’s First Frolic; and in her many paintings of frogs seen regionally.
Euphoric for frogs, Margot and her infectious enthusiasm touch children and adults through presentations in schools and organizations, and in every opportunity for public presence. Her lively frog clothes, hat to socks, belie her sophisticated activism, and she works with local politicians and governments in the protection of wetlands and prevention of destructive development. In just a year under her leadership, A Frog House has engaged hundreds of regional supporters to help implement significant protection of our regional environment.
She hopes her work will bring joy, healing and raise consciousness about the preciousness of each unique life.
Jane G. Coggshall McConnochie, PhD
Jane has spent much of her career conducting research, evaluation, and policy analysis focused on preK-12 teaching and learning. As a Principal Researcher at the American Institutes for Research, she provided technical assistance to states and school districts focused on supporting teachers and teaching systemically, equitably, and effectively.
In recent years, she has nursed an abiding interest in native trees and bees, their ecology, biology, culture, and care, and seeks to share that learning with others through high quality educational programming and hands-on habitat restoration projects.
She is a member of the executive council of the Burroughs Audubon Nature Club, the Science Action coordinator for the Park Road Elementary School PTSA, and is a mom of two school-aged boys who (sometimes) tolerate regular family hikes in the woods and wetlands of the greater Rochester area and beyond.
The Honorable Sandra Frankel’s credentials include serving as Brighton, New York Town Supervisor from 1992 through 2011. As Supervisor, in partnership with the community, she led the effort to create a town-wide park system. She enlisted the Genesee Land Trust to help negotiate the acquisition of Corbett’s Glen property for a nature park. She negotiated the acquisition of open space in the heart of town for the Brickyard Trail at the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park, rich with flora, fauna, and history. These are just two of the eight Brighton public parks and trails on more than 500 acres, proposed, developed, and/or nurtured during her tenure. She understands that the one of the best ways to protect wildlife, preserve nature, and contribute to the mental and physical health of the community is to create public parks for active and passive recreation and to preserve sensitive environmental areas. Sandra’s interest in the arts (she is an excellent photographer), the environment, and progressive ideas makes her perfect to lend her name as a member of the Board of A Frog House. She also serves on several community boards and has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. You can still see her keynote speech at our Save the Frogs Day Nature Symposium, which illustrates her commitment to our mission.
Bonnie has too many credentials to do more than list! B.S. degree from Lock Haven University, M.S. from Syracuse University, M.S in Administration from Brockport U, taught at Brighton and Pittsford School Districts, retired as Assistant Superintendent of Technology in 2017 after more than 20 years at Fairport BOCES #1, was integral in installing the Challenger Learning Center at RMSC and also subsequently the BUBL Lab at the RMSC.
Recently widowed, Bonnie will continue to enjoy the many church, arts and theater programs that she and Jack supported. Thank you and bless you, dear Jack, for bringing not only your own talents, but Bonnie’s as well, to Rochester in 1970. You are both treasures.
After retiring, Bonnie Abrams performed frog songs at the first Froggy Birthday Party. It was this magical place that coaxed Bonnie out of retirement to become the Event Manager at A Frog House.
Bonnie is perfectly prepared for this task. Upon graduating from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, with a BS in Biology. She worked there as an environmental biologist for three years.
Changing careers, she enjoyed winemaking with Constellation Brands for 27 years. Bonnie volunteered at the Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information (CHAI) of the Jewish Federation of Rochester, performing original songs about her parents’ Holocaust experiences.
She took over the Directorship of CHAI in 2007 until her retirement in 2020, planning community events and teaching young people to become changemakers. What more could we ask for?
Sarah wants to use her highly developed skills in the service of creating a better world, driven by mission, meaningful experiences, and art. She writes:
“There is beauty in creating something that has the ability to change the lives of others. Throughout my career I’ve strived to do this, whether it’s one person, a community, or the world. My initial experience in the theater world set a foundation of artistry, creative thinking, collaboration, a solid work ethic, and excellent problem-solving skills. From this foundation, a wider world has opened up; one in which I am supporting and helping to execute the visions of global change-makers.”
Sarah earned a Master in Fine Arts in Stage Design at Northwestern University. For the past 9 years, she has been a major mover, shaker, and overall production coordinator of internationally known celebratory events, in particular, the NYC VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARADE and SINTERKLAAS, RHINEBECK, NY.
With creative director Jeanne Fleming, who has managed these festivities for 34 years, Sarah is responsible for pre-event negotiations and relationships with national media, NYC police, artists, and sponsors. She refined and created workflow efficiencies resulting in savings in time and money. She has shown proven mastery in taking large complex projects with endless moving parts and translating that into the most granular details to ensure and anticipate the production needs of key stakeholders by creating working plans that can be executed in the most minute detail by staff.
She prides herself in her ability to stay grounded, focused and unflappable when quick thinking and problem solving is needed as well as to manage sensitive situations and personalities with complete confidentiality and ease. Her can-do problem solving and support is precisely what A Frog House needs at this beginning of our 4th year as a 501(c)(3).
Katherine Denison is a wildlife advocate, book designer, and social activist. Katherine designed Margot’s first book, Froggy Family’s First Frolic, and enlisted again for both skills and interests, Katherine is an essential right hand as A Frog House designer of promotional materials, writer, and planner.
Katherine’s ardor for environmental survival compelled her to walk with rangers in the rugged terrain of Tanzania and Kenya to better understand the possibilities and desperate challenges in standing against extinction. First focused on the larger companions on the planet—elephants, rhinos, gorillas, bears, and wolves—now Katherine, seeing the chain of loss from the tiniest to the huge, brings zeal to stopping the extinction of amphibian life and aiding the survival of the essential, delightful, and dangerously diminished creatures we serve at A Frog House.
Matthew Fass has built all of Margot’s web sites, keeps her extensive digital portfolio online, and maintains Margot’s current presence on afroghouse.org.
Matthew is an accomplished accordionist, specializing in (but certainly not limited to) Balkan music. He and his lively groups keep audiences on their feet and on their toes, dancing to this joyous, humorous and heart-rending music.
When we’re lucky enough to nab him on a visit home, he plays for A Frog House events, charming both adults and youngsters. Likely you’ve guessed, Margot and Martin Fass are Matthew’s parents.
Dr. Kerry Kriger
Dr. Kerry Kriger is the Founder & Executive Director of , the world’s leading amphibian conservation organization. He conceived , the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action, and has given over 430 presentations on amphibian conservation in 20+ countries.
Dr. Kriger holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Griffith University in Gold Coast, Australia, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. He is a recognized expert on the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, a topic on which he has published 20 articles in peer-reviewed international scientific journals.
Dr. Kriger’s amphibian conservation efforts have been supported by the National Geographic Society, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Patagonia, and various philanthropic organizations throughout the world. Dr. Kriger is also the Founder of , through which he provides consulting and mentorship to nonprofit executives.
Lindsay Graham is founder and owner of Car Pal National Car Buying Service. Car Pal saves considerable money for clients who want new or used car purchases (and new car leases). Lindsay is known for her sharp mind, loving soul and witty engagement with her community. Lindsay offers both the land and building for her mother Margot’s newest project, A Frog House.
Occasionally Lindsay opens the doors to her own home on the property, and AFH visitors must guard against stepping on her tiny Maltese pup, Busby. (Busby barks ferociously when people arrive, and then hides, safe inside Lindsay’s roomy jacket, for the duration). Lindsay is a superb matchmaker, bringing social and political change makers, engaged people, and surprising resources to A Frog House. It couldn’t happen without her.
As Pittsford Town Supervisor since 2013, and previously as town councilman, Bill Smith has advocated for strong community environmental policies. He helped implement Pittsford’s Greenprint Plan, preserving farmland; and led the designation of the town as a New York State Clean Energy Community. He also established a town solar energy program. If it weren’t for his commitment to the regional wetland ecology, dedication to our mission, and cordial good humor, we’d have to call him William.