04/21/17

Award winning frog art on display in Jersey City and Hoboken City Halls

I’m thrilled to report that both Hoboken City Hall and Jersey City City Hall have award winning artwork hanging just in time for Earth Day (April 22) and Save The Frogs Day (April 29).

We curated a show of approximately 32 pieces for each of the two spaces and our exhibition, Green Dream 2017 is ready for viewing. We selected the artworks from the winners of our 2016 kids art contest.

Below is a gallery showing both exhibition spaces and a short video that I shot today in Jersey City City Hall.

To see the full winners gallery visit this link:
Winners of the Kids Art Contest 2016

02/6/17

Winners 2016 Kids Art Contest

Frogs Are Green thanks all the children from around the world for participating in our annual Kids Art Contest! The variety of subject, medium and cultural diversity made choosing incredibly hard! We also thank the parents and teachers that helped children learn more about frogs and bugs!

This year we received 1441 artworks from 32 countries and almost every state in the USA! Here in New Jersey I’m proud to share that the Wallace Elementary School of Hoboken submitted 400 artworks! That is a school project to be proud of! Jersey City students also turned in approximately 75 artworks! We also received quite a lot of artwork from China, Sri Lanka and Turkey, so you will see we selected the best of each of these countries also.

We want to thank the judges and we applaud them in choosing from a field of exceptional artworks: Jonathan Kolby, Geoff Mosher, Pam Andes, Bethe Ann Schwartz, Erin A. Delaney, Sigrid Shreeve, and Valerie Clark.

All winners receive a custom certificate based on how you placed, so email us to receive yours. The 1st place winners in each of the 4 age groups receive prizes, so email us!

And now for the winners… (wait for the page to load!!)

WINNERS by Age Group and Categories

Age Group 3-6

1st Place: Aneesha Kakar, 6 years old, Oman
2nd Place: Aliya Sakina Murdoko, 6 years old, Indonesia
3rd Place: W. W. Lakindu Chamindra Mendis, 6 years old, Sri Lanka

Honorable Mentions:

Chiang Ka Wong, 6 yrs old, Chong Hok Tong Education Center, Hong Kong, China
Elizaveta Krivonos, 6 years old, Russia
Hailey Kang, 6 years old, CA, USA
Nicole Zhang, 6 years old, New York, USA

 Age Group 7-9

1st Place: Worth Lodriga, 7 years old, The Philippines
2nd Place: Eunice Shin, 9 years old, CA, USA
3rd Place: Daniel Myoung, 9 years old, USA
4th Place: Chaewon Yoon, 7 years old, CA, USA

Honorable Mentions:

Gayeong Song, 9 years old, CA, USA
Irmak Yesim Gelirli, 9 years old, Turkey
Junu Sim, 9 Years Old, Wallace School, Hoboken, NJ, USA

 Age Group 10-12

1st Place: Minju Kim, 11 years old, USA
2nd Place: Zakiyah Hasanah, 12 years old, Indonesia
3rd Place: Shreya Venkatesh, 11 years old, India

Honorable Mentions: (We had over 600 artworks in this group, so awarding more!)

Christine Cho, 10 years old, CA, USA
Gusti Ayu Wedha Putri Surya, 10 years old, Indonesia
Icheng Huang, 11 years old, USA
Iris Yoon, 10 years old, USA
Jiyoon Lee, 10 years old, CA, USA
Minsoo Jung, 11 years old, USA
Nathan Kim, 12 years old, USA
Tanzina Tajrin Ede, 12 years old, Akibuki Art Academy, Bangladesh (2 pieces)
William Kim, 11 years old, USA

Age Group 13-17

1st Place: Ian Lee, 15 years old, MA, USA
2nd Place: Thomas Kim, 16 years old, USA
3rd Place: George Azmy, 17 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Honorable Mentions:

Colin Song, 14 years old, NJ, USA
Paula Nataniela Roba, 15 years old, Latvia
Shanmukh Gollu, 16 years old, India

Best Elder/Student Collaboration

1st Place: Siah Pei Shan, 6 years old and Ooi Ling Ling, 40 years old, Malaysia
2nd Place: Ava Paulsen, 7 years old and Charles Vicker (Grandpa), CA, USA
3rd Place: Ioanna Lepetsou, 3.5 years old and Katerina Vassilikopoulou, 39 years old, Greece

Best 3D Artwork

1st Place: Paula Nataniela Roba, 15 years old, Latvia
2nd Place: Ioana Vallimaresca, 15 years old, Romania
3rd Place: Elizaveta Krivonus, 6 years old, Russia

Honorable Mentions:

Milla Van Der Walt, 9 years old, Australia
Misa Eunbi, 5 years old, Australia
Sara Lee Farrer, 9 years old, CA, USA

Best Environmental Artwork

1st Place: Vanessa Qiu, 14 years old, NJ, USA
2nd Place: Annie Chang, 15 years old, USA
3rd Place: Colin Song, 14 years old, NJ, USA

Honorable Mentions:

George Liu, 15 years old, NJ, USA
Joey Song, 12 years old, CA, USA
Kareem Brock, 17 years old, Liberty HS, JC, NJ, USA
Laura Liu, 10 years old, NJ, USA
Madonna Botros, 17 years old, Liberty HS, JC, NJ, USA
Yagmur Kaskan, 9 years old, Turkey

Visit >> WINNERS – PART TWO <<

 
 
Thank you John Crittenden for this lovely statement! (Originally posted on Facebook.)

“Spreading art and joy around the world feels especially good at this uncertain time in American history. Congratulations to Frogs Are Green for another successful contest. Fourteen hundred entries from kids in 32 countries means the mission of spreading environmental awareness among the younger generation is being accomplished. Click the links and enlarge your own awareness of beauty, nature and how expressive kids can be.

And check out the ways you can support the mission. Stepping up for Frogs Are Green is one form of #Resistance to the ignorance and denial of facts that spurs the ongoing habitat destruction in our natural world. I’m happy to stand in the light of Susan Newman, the founder. She’s one more example of how much positive change one person can make in the world if they reach out via the Internet.”
 

06/29/16

Junior Herpetologist of the Year Sarah Brabec

Frogs Are Green is proud to repost this wonderful article sent to us by Lisa and Sarah Brabec. We couldn’t agree more and look forward to hearing from Sarah when she’s closer to us on the East coast!

By Anna Spoerre
Journal Star reporter

BRIMFIELD — To Sarah Brabec, herpetology is more than just the study of reptiles and amphibians, it’s a lifestyle.

On a recent day, the 90-degree weather didn’t seem to bother Brabec, 14, as she waded barefoot through a creek at Jubilee College State Park, a small green net in hand. Two large tadpoles resurfaced with the mesh — an exciting catch for the Junior Herpetologist of the Year at the 2016 International Herpetological Symposium.

“(Herpetology) is more than just a hobby,” Brabec said. “It’s a passion … something I want to spend my life doing.”

Brabec is presenting at the 39th annual International Herpetological Symposium that began Wednesday and runs through Saturday in St. Louis. There, she joins experts in discussions and programs about the scaly, cold-blooded creatures.

Sarah Brebac

“It’s just amazing how much she’s been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time,” said Jill Wallace, an environmental educator at Sugar Grove Nature Center in McLean, where Brabec likes to visit with her family.

When she was 6, Brabec joined the Central Illinois Herpetological Society. During her time there she’s presented in front of hundreds of people and helped to start a junior program within the society, said Doug Holmes, president of the society.

She said last year’s international conference in Austin, Texas — which she participated in as a runner-up — taught her that herpetology is about more than saving frogs. It’s about helping to promote public interest, she said, which falls in line with increasingly popular education-based global sustainability practices.

“The key need in conservation success is education of younger kids,” Brabec said.

Sarah Brebac examines amphibian

She began teaching children to conserve and save animals in Peoria, going into classrooms and talking to grade-schoolers about reptiles. Sometimes she brings her favorite creatures along to engage the students.

“You can hold frogs in your hands,” Brabec said. “Kids can really connect to that.”

She would know. Brabec’s mother, Lisa Brabec, said she started chasing reptiles when she was 4, always returning home with a new animal hidden behind her back.

“When they find their passion, feed it,” said Lisa Brabec, who often takes her daughter exploring at nearby creeks and ponds.

When asked about some of the more interesting moments that come with having a house full of reptiles and amphibians, she said with a chuckle, “my Mother’s Day gift went missing one year.”

Sixth months later they found the runaway snake hiding between their kitchen cabinets. Despite this, Lisa Brabec said she’s grown fonder of all slimy, slithery creatures her daughter introduces to the family.

“My parents are troopers,” the younger Brabec said with a smile.

Last year, Sarah Brabec even began writing a children’s book with a local herpetologist. But, the project has been put on hold.

“I learned that all it takes for kids is adults who think they’re capable,” Lisa Brabec said.

Though Sarah Brabec said she doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do in the future, she said saving wildlife is crucial, and she wants to continue playing a role in that endeavor.

In the meantime, she and her family are preparing to move to Atlanta later this summer, where Sarah Brabec said she’s excited to find eastern narrow mouth toads.

“You can just tell some kids are really hooked,” Holmes said. “I think eventually she’ll make a career out of it.”

Anna Spoerre can be reached at 686-3296 and aspoerre@pjstar.com. Follow her on Twitter.com/annaspoerre.

05/18/16

City of Trees: Shop Window Painting on Central Avenue

The Jersey City Parks Coalition, Frogs Are Green, Jersey City Board of Education and the Central Avenue Special Improvement District invite you to take a stroll down Central Avenue on May 26th, 2016 as 110 Jersey City students paint their vision of “City of Trees” on storefront windows. Each student will have a designated boxed space on a shop window in which to replicate their sketch. The artwork should remain up for a few weeks, so all can see and be inspired to learn more.

A few weeks ago Jersey City students answered the call to participate in the “City of Trees” initiative and over 110 students from 10 different schools submitted their artworks which are currently in an online gallery. Now we’re taking those visions to the Jersey City Heights community.

https://www.flickr.com/groups/2947219@N22/

We wish to thank Ann Marley, District Supervisor, Art Programs, Jersey City and the Jersey City Board of Education’s students for participating.

https://www.facebook.com/events/467752383415317/ 

Martina Gebrail of PS 23, Jersey City

City of Trees artwork by Martina Gebrail of PS 23, 8th Grade, Jersey City

After the success of last Fall’s Halloween window painting event by the CASID, which brought out over 100 students and Central Avenue businesses embraced, we’re bringing this outdoor window painting back for an important environmental cause.

******

A bit of history that inspired this project:

Did you know that the Jersey City tree canopy is at severely low levels?

The City of Trees initiative is our response to the tree canopy study conducted by the Jersey City Environmental Commission, which found that the JC tree canopy is currently at 17%. (The national average is 40% for a mid-sized city.)

City of Trees - logo design by Susan Newman for Jersey City Parks Coalition

City of Trees – logo design by Susan Newman for Jersey City Parks Coalition

The City of Trees initiative promotes healthy trees by educating residents and increasing their role in the care of the City’s trees. Through training workshops, volunteers can become part of our citywide “Tree Lovers Crew” (TLC) and share the responsibility to plant and care for trees in their neighborhoods. Since 2005, the Parks Coalition has empowered residents and volunteers to get involved in greening projects, resulting in healthier and more sustainable communities throughout the City. Beginning with three member parks, the Jersey City Parks Coalition has grown to more than 20 community and parks groups that maintain, beautify and organize programs and activities for their parks and surrounding neighborhoods. The coalition believes in protecting and increasing the care for our precious open spaces. “There is no better tool to bring about change in your neighborhoods than through parks and green initiatives. We’ve learned this over and over again. Our parks are at the center of change.” says Mory Thomas, Vice President of the JCPC.

05/5/16

7 Garden Maintenance Tips in Autumn

watering garden

As Autumn approaches in Melbourne, many householders are starting to prepare their gardens for the colder months and taking care of the little jobs that may have passed them by. The season plays an important role in how well your plants, trees and foliage will do during the winter time, so with 7 simple preparation tips, you can have a clean, lush and bumper garden before the cold weather kicks in.

1. Have a good clear out of your garden

racking leaves in garden

One of the best ways to prepare your garden for Autumn is to clean your garden of any leaves or tree branches that may have built up over the last few months. Autumn is a great time to start to clear out the main base of your garden, allowing you to see and tend to flowers of shrubs in the winter. If you have lots of items to remove, why not start your garden waste removal with the help of a skip bin hire company to handle the majority of the heavy lifting.

2. Maintain your lawn
mowing the lawn

Lawn and garden maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult, as with the right tools and the right approach you can enjoy a lush and green garden all year round. Instead of waiting until the grass is a little too long, why not get the mower out and keep it at the height you best prefer. That way the grass will be at full health and you will minimise the risk of seeing bald patches as the old grass is left covering the newer turf.

3. Clean up your borders

trimming hedges and bushes

Tidying up your borders is a great way to have your garden looking fresh and in top shape. Clear out any foliage that shouldn’t be there and inspect the soil accordingly. If you have any plants that you feel are poorly placed, autumn is the perfect time to get in there and replant them. If any perennials have faded slightly, cut them back to around 5cm to provide them the best health over the coming months.

4. Start your compost harvest

composting

If you have any deciduous trees that are in or overhang your garden, don’t worry about all of the leaves that have fallen and start a leaf mould to add to your compost. The leaves make amazing quality compost in a year or two, so store away all you can and you will have your very own compost to recycle in your garden.

5. The best time to plant evergreen

planting evergreen

Autumn is the best time to plant evergreen varieties due to the soil being still warm and with ever so slightly cooler weather. This greenery makes up the backbone of any quality garden, providing the green backdrop that many gardeners aim for. Plant your evergreen varieties in a way that brings bulk to your shrub borders and adds colour and depth to your main focal point plants.

6. Lift out timid species before the frost
lift out fragile plants in autumn

Autumn is the time when you will need to lift out your most fragile plants such as Dahlias or Begonias and place them into storage in a cool and dry place. Use sand or compost to keep them healthy and ensure that you replant them when spring arrives the coming year. Ensure they are fully covered with just the crowns visible to keep them healthy and happy.

7. Take care of your gardening tools

take care of gardening tools

Autumn is a great time of the year to ensure your gardening equipment is well maintained and in good working order. If you need to purchase replacement tools, check out your local garden hardware store to see if they have anything new and exciting in stock. Oil and clean any motorised equipment you might have, and get yourself ready for the busier months to come!

If you feel that gardening in Autumn is a little too much to handle all by yourself, why not hire a garden waste removal company that allows you to clear out your garden of foliage, branches, cut grass and soil and create for yourself a fresh and bright new garden. Simply have the skip bin delivered at a time of your choosing, fill it up and call for removal for a weekends work, your garden can get a full makeover.

 

04/27/16

The Bully of All Toads

Currently in Madagascar there is a bully. But, this is not your typical bully. This bully is the Asian toad, also known as Duttaphrynus melanostictus. The toads are threatening rare wildlife and frightening locals.

Madagascar provides a niche-like haven for these primarily lowland dwelling toads. Photo © Arthur Chapman Courtesy of Amphibians.org - Amphibian Survival Alliance.

Madagascar provides a niche-like haven for these primarily lowland dwelling toads. Photo © Arthur Chapman Courtesy of Amphibians.org – Amphibian Survival Alliance.

The theory on how they got to Madagascar is that they hitched a ride in some shipping containers from Asia between 2007 -2010. While Madagascar doesn’t have native toads, people who saw these bullies roaming knew something was wrong. And still no one knows why they have decided to make Madagascar their new home.

These toads are endangering locals, harming snakes, lemurs and exotic animals that are unique to the island. If they feed off these toads they will be poisoned, since these toads are known to be very poisonous. Smaller animals can shrink in size and as species, become extinct.

Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) in Madagascar by Franco Andreone.

Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) in Madagascar by Franco Andreone.

Scientists are still trying to come up with ideas on how to get rid of these toads and such measures wouldn’t be horribly expensive. It would cost about $2 million to $10 million (the effort would need only a wealthy backer from the West) — but that’s really just a guess. No one knows exactly where the toads are or precisely how many are in Madagascar. There’s no easy way to find them, and there’s no quick method of dispatching them, at least not in the numbers necessary for eradication.

And then there’s the fact that no one has tried to remove invasive toads on such a scale before. There have been three successful removal projects, but they were all in much smaller areas.

Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) in Madagascar by Franco Andreone, close up

Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) in Madagascar by Franco Andreone, close up.

So it looks like eradication won’t be possible, the scientists conclude, at least without a lot more research that would let managers and the government overcome many hurdles. And by that time, the toads will probably have become so numerous that, like in Australia, any such efforts would be impossible.

 
Leight-Ann BradyGuest post by Leigh-Ann Brady, who resides in NJ with her 8 year son. She is an artist and writer who is also concerned about the environment.