This year brought us the opportunity to reach a diverse audience seeking environmental and ecological knowledge. We had the pleasure of working with local elementary-middle schools, City of Columbus High Schools, college students, as well as individuals and organizations that participated in several community projects. Activities included team-building games, wetland exploration, planting and invasive species control, science fair displays, and wetland illustration assistance. Wetlands can be fun learning environments for people of all ages!
In 2016, Frog Fridays began as a fun way to get the community involved in wetland exploration when amphibian activity is at its peak, and Mark had a free Friday evening. Since then, they have evolved into regular events hosted by the City of Westerville Parks and Rec. department with attendance records exceeding 100!
Events were held periodically on Friday evenings from 7:45 to 9:00 pm. MAD provided amphibians and macroinvertebrates for viewing, as well as sampling equipment for participants to use while exploring the wetland. Frequently observed wildlife include American toads, green frogs, bullfrogs, and gray treefrogs. Oftentimes participants saw the silhouettes of mallards and great blue herons flying in to roost for the night, as well as bats and swallows who emerge in the evening to eat flying insects.
We had a few unfortunate weather events that caused events to end early or be postponed, but we were amazed that diehard amphibian fans were undeterred by cold, rain, and on one occasion, lightning!