The Tree Frog Project received a $15,000 grant from SDG&E last year to restore the college’s nature preserve, a mix of coastal sage scrub and a riparian area. The college is sponsoring cleanups of the preserve, including one scheduled for June 8 that is open to the public. The cleanup will be held from 9 -11:30 a.m., starting at the parking lot of the college’s A Building on Fury Lane. Participants are advised to wear sunscreen, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat and heavy shoes or boots that can get wet. They should also bring gloves, a bucket, and plant clippers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to RSVP.
The grant is also being used to hold two weeklong camps June 24 and July 8 to teach high school students about creating a restoration plan for the preserve, and gathering data about the tree frog populations, rain and storm water runoff, water quality, erosion, and animal and plant populations.
“This is an incredible living laboratory we’ve got here,” Nette said.
Each camp will have about 20 students from Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista and schools in the Grossmont Union High School District, with a focus on selecting young women and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The camps will be free for the students, with costs paid through the SDG& E grant.
The camps will be led by Cuyamaca College biology professors Christina Burnett, Kim Dudzik and Michelle Garcia; and Suzanne Till, a former geography instructor at Cuyamaca and now director of the Academy of Science at Mater Dei Catholic High School, a project partner with the college.
The college will also be partnering with the University of San Diego to analyze the methods used to teach students about tree frogs and their habitat.
“Our goal is to work toward contributing to the worldwide knowledge of the global amphibian crisis, and in the process to restore the habitat for these frogs,” Nette said. “At the same time, we're providing an incredible research opportunity for students to learn about the important role that tree frogs play in our environment.”
To learn more about the Tree Frog Project, go to https://www.sites.google.com/site/thetreefrogproject/.