A green frog who found or was born in our pond at A Frog House. Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams
A Frog House opened four years ago with humble goals: provide children and adults a chance to better understand the importance of frogs to the planet’s balance.
In no time, we added more education, more play, more connection to our town and local waterways, fresh relationships with activists and politicians. Exciting expansions.
And then we connected to experts in sustaining indigenous plants and healthy wetlands, to zoologists, to town planners and conservationists.
If some aspect of life on earth touches our beloved frogs, we’re there.
What accomplishments and joys we’ve had this year!
We’ve had more volunteers than ever, steadier community curiosity, more allies and supporters and more interested experts.
What Is A Frog House About?
There’s been a strong lacework behind our yearly schedule: the annual four set activities and several added on our ever more beautiful grounds, richer with native plants and flowers, and a new pond that’s attracted the sweetest frogs. Margot never stops “frogging.”
Our year has been full of social and political connections and actions, informal introductions of A Frog House to passersby on the canal, and public participation.
We’re finding that perfect balance of entertainment and froggy fam fun, with rich and engaging environmental information, and a community that sees the reasons to support our work.
What Do We Teach?
Our first event was held in the library on March 31. Former Mayor of the Village Pittsford Robert Corby, presenting on sustainability in the 30 acres of public preserved land we treasure, drew a good and engaged crowd. See a recording of his talk on our website.
For the worldwide celebration of Save the Frogs Day, because of an unexpected illness, we suddenly had no guest speaker/tour guide at 2 pm! A yard-full of cheery youth and adults patiently kept busy with activities, visiting each other, our small pond’s new frogs, Bonnie and Clyde, and A Frog House.
Ever ready stand-in environmental whiz, Robert Corby, Saved the Day and hopefully some Frogs.
What Is Our Influence?
Andy Smith on June 26 at the Pittsford Town Hall, attended by Pittsford VIPs. Photo Credit Robert Corby
On May 26, we held our annual A Frog House Scavenger Hunt, timed to coincide with Pittsford’s Paddle and Pour Day. We’re blessed with an enlarging group of local adult residents who want to know more about preserving regional lands, and their kids who are enjoying games and adventures as they learn.
That interest blossomed in late June, when so many powerful town activists came to hear Andy Smith of Stantec Environmental teach about wetland restoration, assessing available resources and proposals to make the ponds and swamps more sustainable.
We are delighted that based on that talk, Bill Smith has planned with the Parks Department to remove invasive plants and introduce natives this coming Spring.
What is “Finishing” Family Froggy Fun?
Thank you Kerry Kriger, founder of SAVE THE FROGS! for coming to our tiny but powerful spot in the universe on August 28. The honor was all ours. And Anu for appreciating STF! Photo credit Lindsay Graham.
Our 4th Annual Froggy Birthday Party on August 7 was a perfect midsummer celebration of Frogs, the Fact Filled Fun year to date and Founder Fass’ 82nd Fete and Fundraising Day with music, an auction, cake and games. Star musicians included Bonnie Abrams, Matthew Fass, Bernie Heveron, and Karl Fleischman.
We may have thought we were done for the year, but two more surprises came up. On August 25, Kerry Kriger arrived for a break from Maryland, and he generously gave his time talking to us about frogs at a pop up party we hadn’t planned. And a Halloween Party, suggested by intern Ruth Shin, took place on October 30, and brought out some great costumes and a enlightening discussion..
How Do We Support The Young At Heart of All Ages?
Ruth Shin, David, and Hannah on October 30, welcoming visitors on a gorgeous Halloween Eve. Photo Credit Lindsay Graham
Fledgling nonprofits have to find their footing among thousands of worthy causes. The first years are hard – building respect, proving reliability, accomplishing promised goals – as would-be supporters begin to trust that their gifts will make real change.
The community is seeing us now, truly understanding our drive to make these tiny creatures the center of environmental intelligence, sophisticated response to climate change, repairing human-wildlife balance, and reintroducing the spirit of nature into our lives.
We have a growing list of members and friends, who support us financially and by volunteering and spreading the word. Join us to help small creatures make a huge difference.
Does A Frog House Give You Pause?
Cora Clauser faithfully volunteered for a number of weeks during the spring and summer at A Frog House. Photo Credit Lindsay Graham
Your donations pay for personnel and supplies for our educational programs.
- Bonnie Abrams, Ruth Shin, and Shubham Parke enable weekly and special occasion open houses and event planning.
- Matthew Fass designs, develops and maintains our website.
- Katherine Denison designs and arranges printing for posters and signs, helps with writing and editing, as she did with this post.
These guardian angels donate with their time and wisdom.
- Rob Corby, Advisor, provides intention and direction, and he and
- Lindsay Graham, Advisor, are neck in neck promoting A Frog House through photography and social media skills.
- Bill Smith, Advisor, has been responsive to renovating wetlands.
- Sandra Frankel, Bonnie Garner, and Jane McConnochie, A Frog House Board Members, provide careful listening with valuable insights.
- Cora Clauser, volunteer, inspiring with youthful presence.
Are We Doing Everything We Can To Enhance Your World?
If an 82 year old women can clear out invasive plants to replace with a native border along the Erie Canal, so can you! Photo credit Lindsay Graham
A Frog House Founder Margot Fass is personally financially responsible for all maintenance and property improvement. Her focus is to replace non native invasives with more pollinator friendly flora for the happy fauna, including humans, that visit A Frog House.
That means you can enjoy and learn from what she does for free, except for whatever it will cost you to follow through on your own native landscaping plans.
Margot also spends hours advocating and collaborating with other like minded people and groups. What she enjoys most is puttering around the grounds, and meeting new friends who stop to come up and see what A Frog House has to offer. Come on up if you see our sign on A Frog House, or any of us on the grounds.
What Simple Ideas Can You Take Home?
A sapling, Tree of Heaven [or hell] (Ailanthus altissima), that you must remove immediately on seeing it.
In her free time A Frog House Founder writes for the edification of the community on various topics, from frogs in Ecuador to invasive plants, the importance of wetlands, environmental justice, pleas for sustainable practices, including the elimination of pesticides and herbicides and chemical fertilizers.
Our most recent blog has to do with the invasion of the Spotted Lantern Fly with its symbiotic partner the Ailanthus Tree.
A Frog House has launched a petition, which we would appreciate your signing here. Dr. Fass also goes to schools with people of any age to talk about the wonders and challenges of being a living frog.
For Giving Tuesday November 29, Support A Frog House
Map provided by the Town of Pittsford, with hand captions added by Robert Corby
Town Supervisor Bill Smith hinted that the name Frog Pond Trail for the main route through the newly designed Erie Canal Nature Preserve honors A Frog House. The four ponds probably were used to raise aquatic plants when Ward Scientific owned the property, but now they are definitely frog ponds, albeit eutrophying ones, with adjacent wetlands.
A Frog House has a plan to plant a sustainable garden (Forest in a Nutshell) designed by Patty Love of Barefoot Permaculture in the Village Arboretum, approved by the board in 2020. Hopefully, thanks to all the work by Friends of the Robert C Corby Arboretum, this will happen sooner rather than later.
For Giving Tuesday November 29, Thank A Frog House
Special thanks to our guest featured speaker, Michael Boller, Program Director of Sustainability, St. John Fisher. Not only did Dr. Boller bring great knowledge and wisdom and flashy garden clogs, he brought his two kids who had the Best. Costumes. EVERrrrr! Photo Credit Lindsay Graham
This was the last event of 2022, and now it is time to knuckle down for next year: planning, organizing, and executing motivating events for 2023. Hopefully you have many reasons and/or a lot of inspiration to support us as one of your favored causes.
A Frog House is extending our special membership fee through December for only $82. Join here.
As a gift for joining our group, you either can receive a children’s book, Froggy Family’s First Frolic, written, illustrated and signed by Margot Fass, or a fun and whimsical Frog Calendar, illustrated by Susan Plunkett and designed by Katherine Denison.
Become a part of your community in your way.
Kerry Kriger suggested that Bonnie Abram write a giving song for A Frog House, and she did. Wrote, recorded, set to photos. Enjoy.