By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
The Detroit Zoo’s Amphibiville has a new leader. Blake Myers, 11, of Oxford, was sworn in as Mayor of Amphibiville on June 26 for a two-year term. Amphibiville is a 2-acre wetland village at the Detroit Zoo which is home to the National Amphibian Conservation Center (NACC).
“Having a mayor of this important conservation center helps to engage younger generations who have so much to contribute as they grow up and become stewards of this planet,” said Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director Ron Kagan.
The Detroit Zoological Society invited candidates ages 7-12 who live in Michigan to enter the race for Mayor of Amphibiville by submitting essays of 100 words or fewer on what they can do to help amphibians.
In Blake’s essay, he vows to create a monthly newsletter called The Amazing Amphibians, organize a 5K race benefitting the NACC and educate others on how to preserve habitats while also creating new ones.
“Hi, I am Blake Myers and I am running to be the next Mayor of Amphibiville at the Detroit Zoo,” he wrote in his essay. “Frogs are beautiful life forms affected by many things. Their habitats are being damaged by construction, pollution in the water, and other human actions. If I am elected Mayor, I will create a monthly newsletter, The Amazing Amphibians. I will summarize ways people can help preserve habitats and create new ones. Additionally, a 5k race benefitting the Conservation Center will raise funds and bring awareness. Being mindful of nature around you can help save the amphibians. Have a Frogtastic Day!”
Blake became interested in amphibians when he learned about their “fun and majestic camouflage,” he told The Leader. “I was curious about them having ‘both’ lives. As tadpoles, they have gills and a water life. As frogs, they have lungs and a land life. My favorite frog is the red-eyed tree frog. I love the fun colors!”
In honor of his victory, a plaque bearing Blake’s name and photo will be displayed in the NACC throughout his term. He also received a plush frog and one-year family membership to the Detroit Zoo.
Amphibiville’s outgoing mayor – Trinity Favazza, 14, of Shelby Township, was on hand for the swearing-in ceremony. Trinity was 9-years-old when she became mayor in 2016 and served an unprecedented two terms.
Called “Disneyland for toads” by The Wall Street Journal when it opened in 2000, the NACC is a world-renowned center for amphibian conservation, care, exhibition and research. The state-of-the-art facility features a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians.
By James Hanlon