A chilly day in March kicked off the 2015 season of the CFPA Ramble: Frog Fridays. Despite it being a week into spring, six inches of snow still lay on the ground. This didn’t discourage a group of eight from trekking through the snow to the vernal pools located in Highlawn Forest, adjacent to CFPA’s Headquarters in Rockfall, CT.
Over 12 weeks, nine Frog Fridays set the course for budding herpetologists as families observed the lifecycle of frogs. As the snow dissolved, frog egg masses hatched into tadpoles, the tadpoles morphed into froglets, and then those froglets became frogs. Participants, fascinated by witnessing this transformation, learned about the importance of vernal pools to the forest and vice versa. Children and adults alike delighted in investigating these delicate habitats and the various creatures calling them home including wood frogs, fairy shrimp, and dragonfly larvae. The aim of Frog Fridays is to have participants engage with these precious locations while learning how to carefully interact with them.
Frog Fridays were initiated by Everyone Outside, a local program created by a CFPA volunteer, aimed at getting more people outdoors to enjoy the natural world in order to promote healthy living and environmental stewardship. For the 2015 season, Lucy Meigs, founder of Everyone Outside, teamed up with CFPA Ramble Guide Riley Flanagan-Brown and his sons to offer more weeks of exploration than last year. Recently trained as a Junior Conservation Ambassador (JCA), Riley’s son Liam and Liam’s little brother, Jack, brought a new exuberance to Frog Fridays as the boys helped participants discover many wonders of vernal pools. Liam shared the vast knowledge he gained by participating in the JCA program while both he and Jack gained important youth leadership skills.
CFPA relies on the support and passion of volunteers to carry out our mission to protect forests, parks, walking trails, and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land. By bringing participants into Highlawn Forest to witness the dynamic changes spring brings to the forest, CFPA and Everyone Outside was able to connect over 130 people to the land with Frog Fridays. CFPA is grateful for the incredible volunteer support of Riley, Liam and Jack Flanagan-Brown, and Lucy Meigs.
Photo by Riley Flanagan-Brown. Click the image below for more photos of the CFPA Ramble: Frog Friday