Sunday, November 6, 2016

Frogs In Town

Environmental & Science Education
Sustainability
Sustainable Energy & Transportation
Water & Watersheds
by Edward Hessler

It was Will Rogers who said, "Well, I only know what I read in the newspapers."  I'm becoming that guy, too but I seem to be slower at it. It is clear that I've not been paying attention to the newspapers, including some neighborhood newspapers. I'm embarrassed since I should have known about a specific green initiative that is a part of a much larger greening of a diverse Saint Paul neighborhood.

I don't live/work too far from a great Saint Paul neighborhood known colloquially as Frogtown. How it got its name is nicely explained in information from a walking historical tour of this planning district of Saint. Paul, MN, the Thomas-Dale neighborhood.

Frogtown Mural, photo by Koua Mai Yang

Frogtown is on land that used to be dotted with wetlands, swamps, marshes and small ponds and frogs could be heard calling during the spring. The land was filled and pollution from a landfill changed all this. However, new changes are in the air and ground and have been for some time, as I just learned.

Frogtown is a neighborhood where the answer to the question on how a neighborhood can be healthier, wealthier and more beautiful is to make it the greenest neighborhood in Saint Paul. And its residents are doing just that.

There is an article by James Walsh in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (October 18 2016) on one recent change, bringing some of frogs back by restoring frog habitat.  The project is known FrogLab, a part of FrogtownGreen. It is an environmental education program that Chee Yang, an environmental science student at the University of Minnesota, led this summer.  The intent is to refresh a pond habitat and add some frogs.

FrogLab is one of several green initiatives which include butterfly gardens, a 40 bed community garden, an art in the garden tour, tree planting and an Asian American Elders Garden. The Twin Cities are known for its trees and water but Frogtown has less tree canopy on private land than any Saint Paul neighborhood.  This is changing.

Home Sweet Home!

Home Green Home!

Home Sweet Green Home!

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