Getting to Know You

Bioregional Garden Party

June 22, 2023, 5:30 to 8:30 pm

With the overall theme of “Connecting to Regenerate Our Bioregions” we have some special guest participants.  

Victoria Zelin and Jonathan Cloud, of Possible Rochester, are launching the Genesee Finger Lakes Bioregional Learning Center of  Earth Regenerators. Their work is about both reducing carbon emissions and increasing biodiversity and sustainability, with knowledge of law that allows commercial property owners to “go green” with no out of pocket costs, and no traditional debt.

Dan Antonioli, of Going Green, has a proposed communication project that fits in nicely with the above mentioned Learning Center for the benefit of all.  He describes himself as an Ecological and Social Change Agent, Writer, Green Builder and Permaculture Designer who has founded two green communities: 611 Ecovillage and Laytonville Ecovillage, and has much broader interests as well.  

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.

Come prepared to care and share and have fun.  Please register here so we can plan seating, tables, etc.

From Everyday Feminism, 5 Benefits of Sharing March 11, 2014  by Cynthia Kane


There are wars going on affecting all of us externally and internally.  Who can’t identify with the feeling expressed by a woman I overheard in Kingston, NY?  “I’m quitting all these dysfunctional groups. Everyone has really good projects, but they are all fighting with each other for limited resources of time, money, and people.”

Yes, I also was raised to be competitive, and I need to be aware if I am shutting someone else out, or wonder why if I am being shunned.

People, like the animals we descend from, be they apes or our more closely DNA related pigs, tend to be territorial, want a bigger share, afraid to share our knowledge, afraid of being copied or of having someone else ride on our coattails, as if it’s about us instead of about the greater good for our planet.

As it turns out, our planet is better able to survive if we put aside our own egos and consider others.

According to Deepak Chopra in his introduction to his book Non-Violent Communication: “The only way to resolve all violence is to give up your story.  No one can be enlightened who still has a personal stake in the world.” Of course, that is easier said than done.  

“In the Nash equilibrium, each player’s strategy is optimal when considering the decisions of other players. Every player wins because everyone gets the outcome that they desire.” Investopedia

Biologists have even used the notion of Nash equilibrium to formulate the idea of evolutionary stability.”  PBS

This year A Frog House is focusing on collaboration. While the tiny 501(c)(3) A Frog House has a huge mission of advocacy, collaboration, and education, it is hard to do it all as we continue to learn so much ourselves.  

Thank God for all the people who love green and this beautiful planet we share.  

There are two major organizations in our Genesee River Finger Lakes Bioregion that are working toward that goal of combining our resources , and I would like to give them a shout out for their efforts.

Climate Solutions Accelerators

One is the Climate Solutions Accelerators of the Genesee/Finger Lakes Region, that plays an essential role locally:

“I’ve loved that the Climate Solutions Accelerator from the start was about applying its highly skilled, effective, and energized people to get everyone to the table to collaborate and share knowledge [about eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the effects of climate change.] .”

Ruth Marchetti, Rochester Area Interfaith Climate Action; Color Penfield Green

Kudos to Abigail McHugh-Grifa and company!

Rochester Ecology Partners

The other is Rochester Ecology Partners, (REP) whose mission is to help all people in Greater Rochester find nature where they live, work, and play” through “nature based learning in and out of schools, community building activities that connect people and nature, [and] network cultivation and movement building”.  

REP just completed the incredible task of publishing a directory of more than 100 organizations in the Greater Rochester area that are dedicated to community and environmental improvement, with basic information about mission, focus and contact information for the purpose of collaboration and connection (C&C). See inspiring stories about C&C on their blog

Kudos to Chris Widmaier and company!

Save the Frogs Day Registration, Photo Credit Rob Corby

Past Events and Important Dates

May and June are busy months, and what follows is a brief synopsis of them, including three that just passed (sorry, we just had our hugely successful Save The Frogs Day special event, and I’m still catching up with that).

Save The Frogs Day, May 7 (actually designated for April 28)


Thanks to many many paid and mostly unpaid hours of dedication by our hosts Kara Kotwas and Mark Wochner, Social Media Guru and organizer S. Lindsay Graham, and myself, our event was more organized than ever before.  

Our seven tables included

  • registration
  • scavenger hunt pamphlets and prizes
  • A Frog House
  • children’s crafts and frog jump game
  • seed ball making
  • refreshments.

We also had several lawn games, including

  • a natural tic tac toe with stones painted alternatively with frogs and lilies and a board made of sticks
  • a frog toss game
  • a chalk game and two other lawn games contributed by the Wochners

Most people arrived toward the beginning. Their first stop was at the registration table, where our intern, Shubham Parkhe, MD, and his friend Thompson were sitting in their adorable volunteer’s frog hats and their SAVE THE FROGS! tank tops. They stamped hands with frog icons in green ink, got visitors not already registered to sign up, and collected money from about 1/3 of the families. Guests visited information tables and lawn games.  

The program got started around 2 pm, with Kara and Mark talking about the importance of chemical free properties for their resident frogs, Rob Corby about things that are being done locally for the environment, me about Save The Frogs Day and A Frog House, and finally, John Bateman talking about the importance of and threats to frogs and things we all can do to help them. After John spoke, he took a group of adults and children down to the pond to see and learn more about the green frogs they saw.  

We were blessed to have a spot the next day prepared by our local Channel 13 newscaster, Don Alhart, and he and his wife Mary appeared to be having a great time. He had fun with the program too, which although no longer live, has a pretty adequate transcript.  

Guests seemed very relaxed and engaged well after the presentations, and didn’t leave until it started raining about 4 pm.

Panamanian Golden Frog, atelopus zeteki, Maryland Zoo, Photo Credit Unknown

Endangered Species Day, May 19

The 93rd United States Congress passed the The Endangered Species Act of 1973 written by a team of lawyers and scientists, including Dr. Russell E. Train, the first appointed head of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The act itself was influenced by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 from Bangladesh, in which Dr. Train was involved, and was signed by Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973.  

David Robinson of the Endangered Species subsequently, in 2006, created and founded an annual global day of celebration, education, and action on the third Friday in May.

The 18th annual Endangered Species Day in 2023 marks the 50th Anniversary of the aforementioned Endangered Species Act (ESA), recommitting us to conserving all animals from insects to elephants and their habitats.  

This collage was put together by Shubham Parkhe to illustrate endangered species, but is also suitable as an illustration of a tremendous loss of biodiversity if these amazing amphibians, birds, mammals and water species in fact become extinct. Yes, that Golden Panamanian Frog has barely been saved from extinction.

International Day for Biodiversity, May 22

Human beings often don’t like “different”, and there is a tendency to want to make the world and everyone around us either after our own image or to conquer or eliminate the disturbing “other” to increase our own personal discomfort.

But in fact, it is the very diversity of and variety in life that exist in delicate balance, sustain our planet, and bring light and joy to the world. The smallest microorganism to the largest star all have a part to play.  

Because people are recognizing the importance of biological diversity to life itself, and the dangers of capitalist extraction and destruction of life, efforts have been made as early as 1992, on May 22nd, with the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

To increase awareness and understanding, the United Nations has proclaimed May 22 to be The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB).  

From Visit Rochester, Rochester Farmer’s Market, Photo Credit Unknown

Upcoming Events

May 27,  12 to 10 pm. Town of Pittsford  Paddle and Pour Art and Music Festival. North Main Street. Visit A Frog House Table.

May 27, 8 am to 1 pm: Market in the Park. Pre-order native plants from Amanda’s Native Garden

May 28, 8 am to 2 pm: Rochester Public Market Flower City Days dozens of horticultural vendors

June 3, 9 am to 1 pm: The Birdhouse, Native Plant Sale with Amanda’s Native Garden

June 4, 4 to 7 pm: Rochester Ecological Partners, Friendraiser Picnic, Sandpiper Shelter, Ontario Beach Park

June 5, all day: World Environment Day. New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Cote D’Ivoire

June 6, 1:30 – 3:30 pm: Pachamama. Seeds of Hope. Indigenous Wisdom for Our Times. On Zoom.