Radiologic technology graduates
Kristen Abney, Heather Hubbard — Centre
Katherine Gibson — Scottsboro
All Cherokee County elementary libraries/media centers are now the recipients of a beautifully illustrated book, The Frightened Frog, an Environmental Tale, by Brenda Moore and Jean Ohlmann.
The Cherokee Rose Garden Club of Cedar Bluff secured six copies of this book to present to the local schools, because the members believe in conservation of natural resources.
From the club’s by-laws, the OBJECTIVE of the local garden club is: “To stimulate interest in gardening, CONSERVATION, and civic development with emphasis on promoting better horticultural practices, excellence in design, and conservation of natural resources.”
This book is part of the two year effort, “Leap into Action”, of the National Garden Clubs to educate young people on the environmental issues affecting amphibians.
The following media centers received a copy of the book: Cedar Bluff, Gaylesville, Spring Garden, Sand Rock, Centre Elementary and Centre Middle School.
The primary purpose of this book is to illustrate the environmental impact human life has on all creatures. Pollinators and amphibians are the “canaries in the coal mine,” crying out a warning that all is not well when their environments are disturbed.
Amphibians share a common necessity for healthy accessible water. Sadly, the amphibian population has seen an alarming decline in the last 50 years. Pollution of fresh water ecosystems, habitat loss, silting of streams and Chytrid fungus have all been responsible for the decline.
Loss of habitat has been realized through agricultural activities, logging and encroachment of human settlements.
As the number of amphibians—the bio-indicator species—declines, so do the numbers of healthy ecosystems in our world, and as a result, other plant and animal species dependent on these ecosystems decline as well. Functions of Amphibians 1. Since their skin is water permeable, they function as bio-indicators.
2. They eat a great many insects, including insects that destroy crops or carry diseases.
3. Amphibians themselves function in the ecosystem as a food source for snakes, birds, monkeys, fish and humans.
4. They have provided a long list of medical advances. Maganin from the African clawed frog is a natural antibiotic and is used to treat diabetic foot problems. Dermaseptin from the waxy monkey frog treats antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus. Caerin is a drug from White’s tree frog that blocks HIV trans- mission. Bradykinin from the fire-bellied toad is used to lower blood pressure. Epibatidine is a painkilling substance developed from poison dart frogs that is 200 times more potent than morphine. Their poisons show promise as muscle relaxants and stimulants as well as appetite suppressants.
So, how do we help conserve the amphibian population?
1. When using chemicals in the garden, be aware of runoff patterns. Don’t use more than the recommended amount on the package.
2. Don’t flush old medicines; they can get into the water supply.
3. Don’t move amphibians from one place to another. Protect them where they are living.
4. Don’t capture amphibians for pets. They have specific needs for their skin and for their food source. They can become stressed and that can lead to disease.
5. Support conservation groups. Tell your friends about the problems of the frog.
6. Stop eating frog legs. They are disappearing in the wild.
7. Support groups who are doing research on an antidote to Chytrid fungal infections.
You and I have a responsibility to care for all we are given. Leap into Action!
The Frightened Frog: an Environmental Tale, would make a great addition to your own child’s library. It can be ordered online at www.shopgardenclub.org, or call 314-776-7574.
The Cherokee Rose Garden Club is a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc, Deep South Division; Garden Club of Alabama, District II, Northeast Alabama Federation of Garden Clubs.
Local meetings are every third Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Cedar Bluff Community Center. You are invited to attend.