2017-07-13 / Front Page

There's Plenty Brewing at For-Mar in July


810-452-2645 * tterry@mihomepaper.com

BURTON — There’s something for everyone this month at For-Mar!

Some people say frog hunting is a childhood rite of passage. 

“Kids love looking for frogs because it is like a real-life treasure hunt,” said Nicole Ferguson, park naturalist at For Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum.

She said the upcoming citizen science program is great for the whole family.

On July 19, participants in the upcoming citizen science program at For-Mar can help collect information about Michigan frogs to be entered in the Michigan Herp Atlas.

“During our Citizen Science program, we are most likely to see or hear frogs,” said Nicole Ferguson, park naturalist at For-Mar. “Hearing them is just as important as seeing them because they are masters of camouflage.”

Ferguson said For-Mar staff will be teaching their citizen scientist friends the vocalizations that the frogs make, as well as what they look like, so that they can help identify them by both sound and sight. The top frogs she said they are likely to hear are bull frog, the green frog, the gray tree frog, the eastern American toad and the northern leopard frog.

“For-Mar has several ponds that are home to bull frog buddies,” Ferguson said. “If you go down by the ground water pond at For-Mar during the spring and summer you are sure to see them, or hear them calling with low ‘brummm-like’ calling.”

Ferguson said the bull frog and the grey tree frog, which can be found in people’s backyards, are each very unique.

“They both have specially adapted feet for surviving in their habitat,” she said. “The bull frog has large webbed feet for swimming, and the tree frog has specialized suction cup toes for climbing high into the trees.”

The Citizen Science program runs every Wednesday night from 6 -7:30p.m. throughout the summer. Each week, there is a different topic for families to explore together-from bugs, to frogs to bluebirds. Families are able to learn about wildlife in their backyard and how they can help their animal neighbors by creating healthy habitats for wildlife, and share their experiences with real life scientists and science studies. 

Also on July 19, For Mar on the Road Nature: The Most Extreme Animals is offered to children ages 3-6 and 7-12. Extreme animals will be explored.

“Gray tree frogs have the ability to stick to surfaces, go through metamorphosis and change color,” said Michael Lake, seasonal park naturalist. “The praying mantis is an extreme predator that uses its front legs to hunt prey anywhere from insects to birds and can strike faster than the blink of an eye. Owls are top predators that use amazing eyesight and stealth to hunt during the night. Every animal has its own specialized adaptations that allow it to survive in their environment. This helps bring wonderment to how fascinating animals really are.”

For Mar on the Road Nature is also offered weekly.

For more information about either program, visit Geneseecountyparks.org, pick up a Family Fun Guide at For-Mar, or call 810-789-8567.


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