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Frog expert to speak at Earth Day event
in LaFarge
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Tyrone Hayes, an internationally known frog researcher, will be the main speaker at the Fifth Annual Kickapoo Earth Day, a free event promoting environmental interests.

Hayes will speak at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 19 in the lecture room at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve located in La Farge on Highway 131.

At the University of California and in ponds around the world, professor Hayes studies frogs and other amphibians.  He is Professor of Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley and well known for his research findings that the herbicide atrazine is an endocrine disruptor that demasculinizes and feminizes male frogs.  He is also an advocate for critical review and regulation of pesticides and other chemicals that may cause adverse health effects.  Hayes has presented hundreds of papers, talks, and seminars on the role of environmental chemical contaminants in global amphibian declines and in the health disparities that occur in minority and low-income populations. Syngenta, the Swiss manufacturer of atrazine, has contested his research, which was used as a basis for the settlement of a multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit against them.

Hayes’ remarkable scientific odyssey began in the muck of the great Congaree Swamp in South Carolina.  He grew up near Colombia and one of his favorite boyhood pastimes was messing with the turtles, snakes, toads and many other slithery creatures native to the region.

Organic Valley sponsored Dr. Hayes’ appearance at this year’s Earth Day event.

“We are creating a format and tradition for voices in our community and informed experts on issues of environmental interest”, said organizer Dana Van Hoesen.

Event schedule:

9 a.m. - the NGO tent and Children’s tents open for activities throughout the day

10:30-11:30 a.m. - Kelvin Rodolfo with a Frac Sand Update

12 noon-1 p.m. - Juliee de la Terre, “Sacred Land – Sacred Water”

1-3 p.m. - Don Hayes and Nancy Philippi, “Flood Reduction through Wetland Restoration: The Upper Mississippi River Basin”

3-4 p.m. - Tyrone Hayes, “From Silent Spring to Silent Night”

4 p.m. - David Greendeer, Ho Chunk Deer Clan and Legislator, “Healthy Earth or Sick Earth”

5-6 p.m. - Various speakers and open mike.

Organic Valley’s Mission Executive, Theresa Marquez will show short videos between the afternoon’s talks.

An organic lunch will be available along with soda, tea and coffee and homemade desserts.

“We hesitate to call our activities ‘children’s activities’ because families all like to do them too!” Van Hoesen said.

Valley Stewardship Network will have three large bins of water with different water creatures to identify and learn about in the children’s Tent.  Children who have been involved with KED activities for the last five years will now be organizing and helping to run the activities this year!

At 6 p.m. everyone will move to the La Farge Community Center located at 202 North State Street in La Farge.  Barefoot Antenna, The Bad Axe Blues Band and Freaks of Nature will provide music. There will be organic food, homemade bread and rolls and two hot soups, and homemade desserts.  Beer, wine, and soda will be available.