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Fri, Jun 14

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Arlington

Country Frog - City Frog Tour @ McClennen Park 5-6pm

Tour biodiversity-building efforts for Arlington!

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Country Frog - City Frog Tour @ McClennen Park 5-6pm
Country Frog - City Frog Tour @ McClennen Park 5-6pm

Time & Location

Jun 14, 2024, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Arlington, Summer St, Arlington, MA 02474, USA

About the event

Country Frog - City Frog Tour @ McClennen Park

Join researcher Katja Kwaku as she describes her wood frog and spring peeper research. The project is researching the feasibility of helping "country frogs" (wood frogs that have trouble negotiating human barriers like Rte. 128), repopulate "traditional homelands" in urban-suburban areas like Arlington. See a tadpole cage up close, and ask all your frog questions! While in the park we will also note the 25 bare root native shrubs recently added to boost biodiversity at McClennen. All of the shrubs planted host moths; moth larvae are part of the wood frog diet.

When: Fri. Jun 14, 2024 @ 5-6pm

Meet: The McClennen Park parking lot by the playground path

Address: Summer St. between Arthur Rd. & Orient Ave, before the Lexington line.   Map: here

We will walk counter-clockwise to the frog research sign along the path to learn all about the wood frog and spring peeper research happening here. Techniques used to track the research frogs are quite interesting. And we will learn why frogs and biodiversity are important in a landscape. The tour will continue around the path to the retention pond, and back to the path leading to Huntington Rd. We will see the 25 native shrubs planted this spring: Red osier dogwood, Aronia berry, Black elderberry, Silky dogwood, and Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago). Thanks to a group of Cambridge artists, and the NH State Forest Nursery, they cost all of $48.50.

Hoped for Biodiversity Benefits for Arlington

One of the frogs the researcher hopes to reintroduce to Arlington is the wood frog. A wood frog was spotted on March 7 2024 by an iNaturalist user in nearby Lexington conservation lands, so at least some have made it past the Rte 128 barrier: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/201647601 . The blue bubble on the map below is the March 7 wood frog sighting in Lexington, and its portrait is below. But there is a vacuum of sightings (all the red bubbles), inside Rte 128., especially west and south.

Similarly, spring azure butterflies have no iNaturalist observations in Arlington, although they have been sighted in the Middlesex Fells and near Horn Pond (iNat map).  We hope the plant additions will lure spring azures to Arlington. Adding one type of native plant can boost biodiversity in surprising ways. For example, two of the shrubs planted at McClennen,  nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) and red osier dogwood (Swida siricea), will eventually bloom and trigger a complex of inter-dependencies between the host plant, spring azure butterflies, and ants.  "Females <spring azures> lay single eggs on the flower buds of a wide variety of woody host plants, and the caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits. Caterpillars are tended by ants, which protect them from insect predators and feed on the sugary liquid excreted by the caterpillars."  (Missouri Dept of Conservation).

We look forward to a future that includes wood frogs and spring azure butterflies among McClennen residents!

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