Earth Day Brought a Chorus of Frogs to World Garden Commons

On Earth Day 25 bags of trash was picked up and an uncounted number of tadpoles and frog eggs released into the World Garden Commons stormwater basin.

40 adults and children gathered to learn that much of the trash, often carried by the wind, comes from nearby dumpsters while smaller partials of litter mostly made up of cigarette butts, come from the storm-water drainage system.

Janessa Veach, a NDSU Natural Resource Management undergrad, stressed it’s important to keep the area clean because the World Garden Commons serves as the only green space for those who live and work nearby. Her suggestion to an apartment or building owner is to enclose dumpsters to prevent overfill from blowing into neighborhood.

NDSU student Ben Bauer released frogs, eggs and tadpoles into the basin. No one has ever documented the transplantation a frog population into stormwater basins prior to this Earth Day, NDSU Natural Resource Management Department Chair, Jack Norland confirmed.  It will remain to be seen if they tiny tadpoles and frog eggs released into the basin survive.

Once the released tadpoles and eggs grow, it still may be difficult see these tiny frogs.  An adult boreal chorus frog grows to be only 30MM or about the size of a fingernail. If the population takes to the basin, we should be able to hear them very clearly. Boreal Chorus Frogs sound like this.  They feed on small insects and mosquitoes at night and rests in thick grass during the day. Amazingly, chorus frogs spend the winter frozen solid and can thaw without damage to their bodies. 

Future NRM students will be on the lookout to see if the frog population can thrive in the World Garden Commons.


Celebrate Earth Day at World Garden Commons: Pick-up Party, Frog Release & Meal

Show the Earth some love by attending our Earth Day Pick-up Party and Frog Release at World Garden Commons on Saturday, April 22.

Students and faculty from the North Dakota State University’s Natural Resources Management program will lead the activities, which include short presentations, trash pick-up, and a frog release. A meal also will be served.

All are welcome, reservations by April 18 are required for the meal (see below).

Please dress according to the weather and know that it’s often wet and muddy in the basin. We will provide plastic gloves, garbage bags, sunscreen, bathrooms, water and food.

Where: Rabanus Park, 4315 18th Ave. S., Fargo, ND 58103. Meet by the big rocks on the southeast slope.
When: 3:30-6 p.m. Saturday, April 22


3:30 p.m. Mini Presentations: Learn how natural resources management, art and culture have shaped the stormwater basin during World Commons Site & Creative Placemaking. NDSU natural resources management student Janessa Veach will share her research on where trash in the stormwater basin comes from. During Make the Basin Sing: Frog Release at World Garden Commons, Jack Norland, Ph.D., will talk about what might happen when we release frogs and frog eggs into the basin.

4 p.m. Trash Pick-up

5 p.m. Frog Release: For aesthetic and ecological site improvement, we’ll release leopard, northern chorus frogs, frog eggs and toads into the basin.

5:15 p.m. Meal