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Save The Frogs Day: April 25th, 2015

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Re-Frogging America:
SLV Charter School in Ben Lomond, CA
(Santa Cruz County)

Re-Frogging America Homepage | Wetland Construction Workshops | Surveying The Site | Building The Wetland | Teaching The Kids | Thank You To These Donors

Thanks to everyone who helped make this wetland a reality!slv charter santa cruz pond

Introduction

Building wetlands at schools is a fantastic way to provide habitat for amphibians and to educate students and teachers about the value of wetlands and wildlife. The SLV Charter School is a public school in Ben Lomond, California in mountains of Santa Cruz County. In 1997 one of the teachers built a small pond beside the school but it permanently dried up. In May 2014, SAVE THE FROGS! surveyed the site and designed an oval-shaped 16' x 20' wetland. On October 13th and 16th, 2014 we built the wetland with the help of over thirty students, teachers, scientists and community members. Biologists from British Columbia, Kentucky, Mexico, Los Angeles and the Bay Area were helping to build the wetland and learn techniques that would allow them to build wetlands in their part of the world. The new wetland will create habitat for frogs and other wildlife, and educational opportunities for students and teachers. Thank you to all who donated and everyone who helped construct the wetland and Re-Frog America! This project was in partnership with the Amphibian & Reptile Conservancy, the Center for Wetlands and Stream Restoration and the SLV Charter School.

"The kids are still so excited and proud of their efforts."
-- SLV Charter School Principal Rhonda Schlosser

wetland construction workshop

"I did some volunteer work with the amazing SAVE THE FROGS! and Thomas Biebighauser, Wildlife Biologist and Wetland Ecologist from Morehead, KY. What an amazing group of people on this team! The kids had smiles that went from ear to ear getting to work outside in a group and playing in nature; while leaning how to protect the environment.
-- Craig Mullins, Pleasonton, CA

"Thanks Dr. Kerry Kriger and staff for the fun wetland construction at the SLV Charter School in Ben Lomond. I learned a lot and enjoyed especially Tom's presentation and also watching the children having fun and helping."
- Loretta Wood Walter

"I talked to Anne Bolen from the National Wildlife Federation and gave rave reviews of our experience with you and Tom and how the students supported SAVE THE FROGS! and the wetland project."
-- Rhonda Schlosser, SLVUSD Charter School Administrator & Teacher

May 2014: Surveying the site

In Spring 2014, SLV Charter School teacher Marcy Reynolds contacted SAVE THE FROGS! to request pond building assistance. In May 2014, SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger, wetland expert Tom Biebighauser and Mrs. Reynolds designed the new wetland:Ben Lomond pond school

Ben Lomond wetland

Ben Lomond Coast Redwoods School

October 2014: Building the wetland

"Hello all, Thanks for all you are doing to save the frogs and our wetlands. What a fantastic workshop!
All the best."
Dennis Sweeney

slv charter school wetland

frogs wetland

tom biebighauser

tom biebighauser wetland

wetland frog santa cruz

habitat restoration

A student found this Westen Toad (Bufo boreas) while digging. The toad was burrowed underground in the dry sand. western toad santa cruz

western toad santa cruz

western toad santa cruz

western toad santa cruz

habitat restoration

The pond was actually started in 1997, but it did not last, most likely due to a poorly installed plastic liner. We re-shaped the pond and built it to last.

We installed a wildlife-safe plastic liner to keep water in the wetland. The liner is buried under six inches of soil and should last for decades or centuries. Unlike most plastic liners being sold, this liner was not treated with algaecides or fungicides.

We covered the plastic liner with a layer of geo-textile to protect it:

pond liner

plastic liner pond

Tom gives a lesson on how to read a level:

The students help cover the liner with six inches of soil:

wetland kids

We add logs to the wetland to provide habitat for amphibians and reptiles:wetland

We turned on the hose to fill up the wetland! The wetland is designed to hold water for most of the year, refill with rain, and dry out occasionally to prevent bullfrogs or fish from invading and establishing populations here.water slv frogs

We laid out straw to prevent erosion and to assist the seeds we planted. The straw retains moisture and makes it difficult for birds to find and eat the seeds.
Straw wetland

A student of the SAVE THE FROGS! class builds a toad house:Toad House

Kids begin to explore the wetland as it fills:

Teaching the kids about frogs and wetlands

On October 9th, SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger spoke to the students about frogs and wetlands and the students delivered a $147 donation to SAVE THE FROGS!:

slv charter frogs

slv charter frog pond

slv charter save the frogs

On October 13th, Tom Biebighauser and Dr. Kerry Kriger gave presentations on wetland construction:wetlands class

wetlands class

wetlands class

wetlands class

wetlands class

wetlands class

"Hi Kerry, we had a great time at the workshop and learned a lot. Looking forward to more good Save The Frogs work!"
-- Phil and Karell Reader

"Hi Kerry! What a WONDERFUL day of instruction and learning all about frog habitats!"
-- Tamara O'Kelly, Boulder Creek, CA

Thank You to these amazing donors!

Thanks to these donors for helping to make this wetland a reality!

-- LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
-- Cabrillo Host Lions Club of Aptos
-- Nature's Path Envirokidz Cereal
-- FrogTape
-- Amphibian & Reptile Conservancy
-- New Leaf Community Markets
-- The students of SLV Charter School
-- Paul Valliere
-- Denise John
-- Susan Meyer
-- Judy Banker Mehrling
-- Barbara Bockman
-- Rhonda Schlosser
-- Nadine Diezmann
-- Karen Haralson
-- Ruth Van Sciver
-- Lawrence Thompson
-- Neal King
-- Lynda Marin
-- Chris McCrea
-- Helen N Engledow

Wetlands For Wildlife