September 2017 PAESTARs
This month we recognize brothers Devin and Roldan Kramer from Ardmore, PA, for receiving the 2016 President’s Environmental Youth Award for grade levels K-5 in EPA Region 3 for their work to save frogs and toads. The national award is presented each year to exceptional students who demonstrate creativity, innovation, and leadership to address difficult environmental challenges. The brothers’ interest in the topic was sparked by discussions about the number of mosquitos in their area, and the decline of predators like bats, frogs and toads, which feed on mosquitos. The brothers learned that each April, the swimming pool at their local park drains the water and ends up killing tadpoles living in the pool before they can mature. To increase the population of native frogs and toads, Devin and Roldan took approximately 2,000 tadpoles from the pool in April and raised them to the frog and toad stage in an aquarium system and collected fruit flies from a compost bin to feed them. Over the course of their project, the brothers observed their aquarium closely, protected the tadpoles from predators, and transferred the tadpoles to a larger aquarium as they grew legs. As a result of their project, Devin and Roldan have observed not only an increase in frog and toad populations, but improvement in the overall ecosystem, with a decrease in the number of mosquitoes, and a growing number of native animals, such as snakes, fish, and birds.
Congratulations, Devin and Roldan - you clearly are PAESTARs!