Favorite Parties, People and Projects

Save the Date, Sunday, July 30, from 1 – 5 pm, for our Fifth Annual Froggy Family Fun(d)raiser Birthday Party, and Margot turns 83 years old. See details below. Photo/AI credit: Karl David

Image from Our Bioregional Community, Possible Rochester Community

But First, What happened at Our First Annual Genesee Finger Lakes Bioregional Potluck Garden Party?

To a well fed audience of about 50 people, on June 22nd, with the overall theme of “Connecting to Regenerate Our Bioregions”, Victoria Zelin and Jonathan Cloud of Possible Rochester described their vision for a Genesee Finger Lakes Bioregional Learning Center of  Earth Regenerators.

The Clouds are exploring the use of a 75 acre property for special events focusing on hands on and presentation format environmental education and other nature-based community, health and recreation services.  

If you have interest in participating as a volunteer, donor, consultant or in any other way to develop this vision, please contact the Clouds directly.

The ‘green’ buildings are leading the way to more sustainable and efficient urban planning. Iberdrolaa

Dan Antonioli  of Going Green, spoke next. He describes himself as an Ecological and Social Change Agent, Writer, Green Builder and Permaculture Designer who has founded two green communities: 611 Ecoville and Laytonville Ecovillage, and has much broader interests as well.

Dan is proposing a bioregional newspaper, such as a comprehensive digital publication (think Genesee Finger Lakes “Times”) for coordination of all our efforts.

If you are interested in reading, writing for, or advertising in such a publication, please contact Dan by calling him at (510) 499-2342 or by Email

It is our hope that the Genesee Finger Lakes Bioregional Learning Center and Dan’s proposed regional publication will catalyze even more recarbonization and decarbonization action in our communities.

Our Bioregional Future by Jonathan Cloud.  April 2023.  Reprinted from the Pachamama Alliance of the Rochester Area.  

We were fortunate to have several committed environmental guests, including Anna Purpura, a trained Prosocial facilitator, member of Earth Regenerators, and coordinator of the Buffalo/Toronto based Great Lakes Bioregional Group. I wish I had registered in my brain that she was making the trip, and had encouraged her to say a word or two about prosocial engagement.

The principles of Prosocial are listed, in the context of their mapping group, here. If you want to join her on July 17 for their next inspiring meeting, you can do so here.  

Mapping Project: For background or to support this project, please visit EcoRestorationAlliance.net

We were honored also to hear from four unscheduled but highly knowledgeable speakers. Jon Schull represented the team of Jon Schull/Charlie Shore, both members of Earth Regenerators, and also founders of the EcoRestoration Alliance, a group of scientists, storytellers and practitioners.

One of their major claims to fame includes the Big Map to Save the Planet!. You can nominate your own organization to be on the map.  

Beach Plum, Food Forest Garden, August, 2020, Photo Credit Patty Love

Patty Love, founder of Barefoot Ecological Design, Resilient Systems for All Beings, emphasized in the most heartfelt of ways that the key word in permaculture is relationships. This definition is on her website,

Permaculture is an interdisciplinary and holistic design approach, based in and derived from the observation of indigenous practices of nature stewardship and natural ecological systems of relationships, that strives to repair and create regenerative and reciprocal systems for meeting human needs while also enhancing the quality of life for all beings, including plants, insects, non-human animals, and fungi.”  

You can contact Patty through her website above, as long as you know that she schedules now for projects next year. She designed a “Forest in a Nutshell” for the Robert C. Corby Arboretum, to be funded and used for educational purposes by A Frog House, that I asked to include a feature like the one above.

If you would like to see this gorgeous scene in years to come in the Arboretum, please sign our petition here.

From The Walrus, Green Investing Is Having Its Moment in the Sun. Can It Help Save the Planet?, January/February 2022, by Ainslie Cruickshank, Illustrated by Ed Kwong.

We formed new relationships with two people in the corporate world who see no contradiction between business and environmental protections.

Kyle Froggatt in professional financial services at Vision Financial Group. He enjoys nature and live music, and volunteering with non-profits. Personally I have discovered that by investing only in green funds, my portfolio performs as well as or better than the general market.

Contact Kyle to see how he can help you to go green here:

Or, if you want to look into green investments on your own, here are a few resources:  Carbon Collective, Investment Executive,  and Investopedia.  

Filipa Abreu Bierton came along to our event as a friend of Dan’s. She is a real estate agent whose passion is helping minorities and millennials achieve home ownership. She also has an international license, so she is involved in real estate without borders.

In the last few months, Filipa has gotten into conversations which have greatly piqued her interest in green construction, smart homes, solar panels, longer lasting materials, window efficiency, etc. She wants to be the person to match buyers with what they need, and educate them about what they need for home improvement and where to get it.

Contact Filipa to see about selling or finding green homes here.

A garden in Satkhira, a coastal district in southwestern Bangladesh. Vegetables are grown in rice sacks, stuffed with compost, because the soil is too salty. Photo Credit…Fabeha Monir for The New York Times

A few days after meeting Kyle, I saw this article in the New York Times: How countries can get richer without wrecking the planet.

In summary, Lydia DePillis and Manuela Andreoni describe cutting-edge work economists and environmentalists have been developing for this purpose. We do want to get with the times [pun intended].  

KISS – Keep It Simple, Seekers!  

Henry David Thoreau, born on July 12 (1817–1862) Famous Quotes

July 12 is National Simplicity Day, chosen as a time to honor the birthday of Henry David Thoreau. who asked us not to complicate our lives by comparing ourselves in terms of worldly gain, but “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness, weakness.”

Out of the Woods at Walden Pond water color by Rita Brown, available from FineArtAmerica

Thoreau was an American environmental scientist as well as philosopher, poet, and political activist. He has inspired many from all walks of life  Regarding our relationship to nature.

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

“Heaven is under our feet as well as under our heads.”

“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”

“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

And finally: “Friends … they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams”

This is the purpose of all of A Frog House events: to be and connect friends. Can we all connect spiritually on Wednesday, July 12, by disconnecting from our devices and taking a day in nature? I think I might just cancel all of my patients that day and invite them to do just that.  

Krishnamurti in Oak Grove, From Osho News, “And Krishnamurti laughed …” April 3, 2021,  by John Hogue (Arjuna)

A Rabbit Hole

On that note, having just enjoyed a long holiday weekend for the Fourth of July, I have been pondering whether the true meaning of freedom is declaring independence (although it can be useful, in this case for the settlers, but not the native population).  

Although it may seem like a non sequitur, please bear with me, as I share some ideas from Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1895 to 1986, younger than Thoreau, but also a philosopher, speaker, and writer. He said:

So we are together and we mean together, exploring and finding out for ourselves together if there is any meaning to life at all, any depth to life at all – or merely a passing event in a long series of historical processes.”  (from Brief History of Krishnamurti, the Khrishnamurti Foundation)

Here are a half dozen of his teachings gathered by Matthew Fass (with the help of ChatGPT) that seem most relevant to conducting a simple life and re-connecting with all living beings around us.  

  1. Relationships: According to Krishnamurti, relationships are a mirror in which we see ourselves as we are. All our attitudes, reactions, and motives are revealed in them. They require the greatest understanding and constant adjustment.
  2. Love and Compassion: Krishnamurti frequently spoke about love and compassion, which he viewed as arising naturally in the absence of the self, with its desires, fears, and ambitions.
  3. Education: Krishnamurti had a unique perspective on education. He believed that education should focus not just on academic knowledge but also on helping students understand themselves and the world around them, fostering a spirit of inquiry and holistic understanding.
  4. The Illusion of Separateness: Krishnamurti maintained that our perception of being separate individuals is an illusion, one that leads to conflict and suffering. By understanding this, we can transcend the illusion and discover unity with all life.
  5. Conflict and Violence: Krishnamurti believed that conflict and violence arise from the illusory divisions created by thought. When these divisions are understood and transcended, conflict and violence can end.
  6. Non-Duality: Krishnamurti’s teachings often hint at non-duality, the understanding that subject and object, self and world, are not fundamentally separate but are aspects of a single, undivided reality.
Margot and Princess Frog, at Third Annual Birthday Party, 2021, Photo Credit Lindsay Graham

Fifth Annual Froggy Family Fun(d)raiser Birthday Party, and Margot Turns 83 Years Young  

A Frog House Gardens have been especially prepared to give you and our local frogs an immersive sustainable and enlightening experience.

The festivities take place at A Frog House headquarters right on the Erie Canal, beginning at 1pm and will continue on to 5pm. Stop in anytime.

All Afternoon

  • Green Ice Cream and Birthday Cake!
  • Frog Themed Educational Games and Activities!
  • Native Plant Scavenger Hunt.
  • Auction, Sales, Prizes and Giveaways!
  • Visit Our Tables!
  • Famous Surprise Star Musicians for Jamming Out!

3:00 pm

Listen to a brief and educational presentation by Ari Freedman-Weiss about his vision for the  former site of Markus Park (Camp Sisol). He purchased the 75 acres from the Jewish Community Center as a memorial to his mother, the director of Camp Sisol for many years until her death when he was only 12 years old.

Toxic algae, among other warning signs, are getting worse in the Finger Lakes. This is why we need each other. Join in a lively brainstorming session about what might be done with this or any land of your own and find out what guests of all ages are doing and can do to improve our planet.

Open to All

Registration and donations for our biggest fundraiser of the year are appreciated to support A Frog House on this, a birthday for all! The suggested donation is $20. Less if you wish, more if you can. Membership for the year starts at $83, with scholarships available.  Nobody turned away for lack of funds.

Dress for the weather, and please let us know you are coming by filling out our RSVP form below.

No gifts, in spite of the photo above, please.

For planning purposes, please register here: https://afroghouse.org/event/fifth-annual-froggy-family-fundraiser-birthday-party/