2017-07-06 / Front Page

Frog Fest Focus Is on Environment

At Les Cheneaux This Saturday
By Debra Petkus

Frogs, turtles, tadpoles, local snakes, newts and fish will be some of the local amphibians that can be viewed up close and personal at the upcoming Frog Fest Saturday, July 8, in Cedarville.

“This year we hope to have a crayfish bowl,” said Mike Gay. “We want to show the role they play in our little ecological world.” He and his wife Kim have been making night expeditions to capture the specimens that will be on hand in 20 or more terrariums and tanks. Many of the critters can be handled.

Frog Fest is held on lawn of the Autore Oil Company on M-134, it starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Les Cheneaux Watershed Council (LCWC), the event is designed for all ages and will have many displays and experts on hand that can shed light on the conditions and threats to local waters.

Children will enjoy handling wildlife, playing fun games, and getting the opportunity to earn a treat if they complete activities for enough stickers to redeem for ice cream.

There will be face painting and children’s crafts, as well.

To start the day, guided walks on Cedar Campus/Narnia Trail will be offered at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 10:30 a.m. It is said to be a beautiful walk that follows the lakeshore, passing interesting rock formations, old growth cedars, and a limestone rock supporting ferns and moss. The walk is moderately paced and about 4.5 miles according to guide Nick Green. Participants should meet at the John A. Woollam Preserve parking lot, east of Cedarville. Call Mr. Green for more details at (608) 843-4731.

During Frog Fest, experts will on hand to discuss hot topics affecting the area and watershed including environmental and aquatic invasive species.

Scott Myers will speak about the status of bats that are dwindling in numbers owing to white nose syndrome and the impact the loss of bats has on the local ecosystem.

Mr. Myers will also fly and demonstrate a drone used to determine the status of invasive water plants such as watermilifoil, an invasive aquatic plant that pushes out native plants and interferes with swimming, fishing, and boating.

The Lake Superior State University Aquatics Research lab will show salmon in stages of development, as well as insects in stages of development.

A water quality microscope will bring tiny invertebrates to view, and a 3D printing demonstration will be provided by the EUP Mathematics and Science Centers Network.

A robotics and Lego demonstrations will be given by Les Cheneaux Community Schools. There will be minnow races and a fun fish pond.

The University of Michigan Biological Station from Douglas Lake will demonstrate water chemistry.

Other groups represented will be Sea Grant, Schoolboat Inland Seas, Avery Nature Center, Les Cheneaux Friends of the Library, and Hiawatha National Forest.

Preceding the Saturday event is a Thursday night, July 6 open forum at the Les Cheneaux Community Center. It is free and open to all and begins at 6 p.m. This is the time to ask LCWC members about their projects, goals, accomplishments, and environmental issues. Refreshments will be provided.

LCWC member Mark Clymer said those interested in joining the Watershed Council may do so by giving a donation online or in person at Frog Fest. He said the organization has an active digital library on their website at lescheneauxwatershed.org for anyone to access that has research reports on different projects they are involved in.

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