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What's in a Ribbet? Frogtown Frogs Signal Environmental Health

July 25, 2017

Chee-Yang-Frog-Lab_Clean Water MN

Few sounds herald spring (and environmental health) more audibly than ribbeting frogs. But such sounds had grown scarce in the formerly marshy area of St. Paul known as Frogtown – bordered by Lexington Ave. and I-35E (east and west, respectively), and Pierce Butler Rd. and University Ave. (north and south).

"This area has less green per capita than other St. Paul neighborhoods, often by a factor of hundreds," says Patricia Ohmans, a 37-year Frogtowner and public health advocate.

Happily, frogs are beginning to trill again at Hmongtown Marketplace, where a retaining pond to collect storm water runoff is under renovation at the Como Ave. edge of the parking lot – part of the mission to bring frogs back to Frogtown. With little recreational water in the area, other than some "ephemeral ponds" along the railroad tracks, Ohmans sees the restoration of the retaining pond as an important part of improving Frogtown's environmental health. Recently, water tests revealed that tadpoles are re-inhabiting their former neighborhood.

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