07/25/18

‘Save All Frogs’ Initiative Launched!

Save All Frogs‘ Initiative Launched!

Matt Ellerbeck – Frog Advocate & Conservationist

Frogs are one of the most diverse forms of herpetofauna in the province of Ontario, boasting more species than turtles, lizards, or salamanders. Yet, there is no outreach education effort solely devoted to these amphibians within the province.

This is unfortunate as many frog species are threatened with extinction. Furthermore, the endangerment of frogs is not exclusive to regions outside of Ontario. Several of the province’s native species are in serious decline.

The Great Lake/St. Lawrence population (east and north of Toronto) of the Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) is listed as Threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act. The Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) is even more at risk, being listed as Endangered. Worse still, the diminutive Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) is considered extinct from Ontario.

More of Ontario’s frogs could also be disappearing, as many species have not yet been properly assessed.

This is what inspired me to launch my Save All Frogs project. With this effort I will be educating individuals throughout the province on why frogs are disappearing, what roles they play in the environment, and most importantly how they can help.

I will be emphasizing as I visit schools, camps, conservation areas and other venues that individuals can become involved with the recovery of frogs via behavioral changes, informed decision making, environmental stewardship actions, and habitat management efforts.

Education has been noted as an effective conservation tool by numerous groups and organizations. The Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy (ARC) states that it recognizes the need to increase awareness, appreciation, and understanding of amphibians, reptiles and their habitats, which can then enhance conservation actions and stewardship practices. The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust also proclaims that education is one of the most important tools in the long-term conservation of amphibians and reptiles. By raising awareness, enhancing knowledge and encouraging people to take action, real steps can be made towards conserving amphibian and reptile species.

This is why I am committed to educating the public on the plight of frogs!

Save All Frogs - Matt Ellerbeck
 

06/28/18

Salamander from the Rainforest painted on Catch Basin

Update from the corner of Bleecker Street and Central Avenue in Jersey City Heights!

 

Jersey City’s adopt a catch basin program is thriving! It’s very simple. Sign up to take care of a catch basin (storm drain) and the City of Jersey City will assign an artist to paint something original for you. It’s a win-win situation! The city receives help from the public to keep these drains clear of garbage and snow/ice in the winter and we get beautiful artwork that passers by admire. In addition, because they are of an environmental nature, it helps remind the public to keep the streets clean.

Swati Rastogi and Susan Newman salamander catch basin jersey city heights

Last year I noticed a beautiful artwork done by artist Swati Rastogi and requested her as the artist for my second corner (opposite last year’s frog). I was so excited when she contacted me this week because it was time for her to paint the corner.

Here’s what Swati wrote about this project:

“I never knew what a Salamander was until I was asked by the city to paint one at the corner of Central Avenue & Bleecker Street in Jersey City.

Susan Newman who adopted this catch basin has proudly named it “Biodiversity Matters” and is actively letting the residents know about the program.

Honestly this “adopt a catch basin” campaign is making the city much more vibrant and creating awareness for how important it is to keep the sewers clean.

Thank you for choosing me as your artist!.”

– Swati Rastogi

 

I wrote about this program last year in greater detail, so check out the article about the program and why it’s so important.

Adopt a Catch Basin Frog Art

04/22/18

Protecting Amphibians Through Correct Silvicultural Practices

Recent findings indicate that frogs could be going the way of the dinosaurs. Studies by scientists from the US Geological Survey (USGS) depicted that the number of amphibians is shrinking by an average rate of 3.7% yearly. Despite environmentalists championing for the protection of frogs, hosting amphibian themed art exhibitions and releasing publications to educate, among many other efforts, there is still a significant decline in the number of amphibians, especially frogs. Blame pollution, diseases, climate change and more importantly incessant deforestation.

Protecting amphibians and frogs through the correct silvicultural activities in forests helps in ensuring their continuity. While tree harvesting is essential for electricity poles, fuel, the paper industry, and construction, it should not be done in a way that it leads to the loss of amphibian habitats.

Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

The Right Pruning Tools

In forest activities such as pruning, trimming, and the harvesting of firewood, chainsaws are preferably the best tools. Why? Unlike harvesters which fell many trees at a time, chainsaws cut down one tree at a time. This ensures animal habitats are not destroyed during the operation and that seedlings and saplings are protected. These machines are portable making pruning among other activities in various locations easier.

While chainsaws come in different sizes, small chainsaws are preferably the best, especially chainsaws powered by a lithium-Ion battery. These particular type of chainsaws are eco-friendly since they don’t release noxious fumes into the atmosphere when pruning or trimming trees. Furthermore, they don’t cause noise pollution and can be operated easily since they are not heavy. However, when operating a chainsaw it is very important to have the knowledge on how to operate one safely. Other brilliant tools you can use when pruning a tree post include loppers and pole pruners.

Correct Pruning

Pruning is done to remove any overgrown tree branches, stems, and any deformed tree parts. When pruning is done in the correct manner it results in high-quality timber which directly reflects on value and price. Correct pruning, according to A-Absolute Tree Services, involves making sure that a third of the living branches are left after pruning. Right timing on when to prune is critical especially if the area to be pruned is a wildlife shelter. Furthermore, it should be done in a proper way such that the game cover is not destroyed.

Recommended Pruning Techniques

Target pruning is one the best methods of pruning, as stated by Research Gate, since one is able to leave tree parts intact and minimize bole’s tissue damage. Canopy pruning is another recommended pruning technique as it enables light penetration. This allows for the growth of grasses and other plants and this encourages survival of amphibians and frogs. During pruning, the windward side should be taken into consideration as amphibians especially frogs which breathe through their skin, could be easily affected by debris-carrying wind.

Utility Poles

In the United States, most utility poles are made of wood, despite the emergence of steel utility poles. This is because wood is a good insulator and is relatively cheap due to the high availability of trees. Among the trees popularly used are red cedars, Southern yellow pines, and Western yellow pines as they produce straight poles. Poles are selected while still standing in the forest, then the felling process begins.

Most of the times the right procedures and techniques are not used in this process. Unfortunately, flush cutting is observed on pruned trees that are meant for utility poles. Tree topping is also another wrong technique that not only gives an ugly view of the forest but also, has zero considerations for potential wildlife habitats. If the right equipment is not used, the forest environment could be adversely affected. This is why knowledge on the right way of pruning and harvesting trees is key, especially with the high demand for poles and timber.

Amphibians and reptiles make the environment greener. They help in natural pest control and act as food for other wildlife. The contribution of frogs to modern medicine is another reason why frogs are so important. With the above-given statistics, it is evident that more needs to be done in order to care of and protect them. Proper environmental care, especially in the forest, and curbing pollution will go a long way in preserving these species for generations to come.

Written and researched by Jennifer Dawson

01/28/18

Winners of the 2017 Kids Art Contest

Announcing the Winners of the Frogs Are Green 2017 Kids Art Contest!

We want to thank all the students, teachers, and parents from across the United States and around the world! We are proud to reach more countries each year and 2017 includes entries from over 30 countries and half the states in the USA.

In addition, children continue to show their creativity and inspiration, encouraging us to protect the environment and the biodiversity of life!

Thanks to our Judges (Devin Edmonds, Beverly D’Andrea, Jerome China, John Dunstan, Gaye Dunstan, and Sam Pesin) who I’m sure had a rough time choosing! Bravo to all the winners. (Wait for images to load).

Contact us to receive your winners certificate via email. 1st Place winners in age groups only should email us their mailing address to receive prizes.

Download a participation certificate here: Frogs Are Green 2017 Kids Art Contest Certificate

– Susan Newman, founder, Frogs Are Green

__________________________________________________

2017 Winners based on Age Groups

WINNERS – Age Group 3-6

Paulus Ong Jr., 4.5 years old, Jakarta, Indonesia

Paulus Ong Jr., 4.5 years old, Jakarta, Indonesia

Ipek Liva Gurses, 5 years old, Turkey

Ipek Liva Gurses, 5 years old, Turkey

Minh Khanh Truong, 6 years old, Vietnam

Minh Khanh Truong, 6 years old, Vietnam

Chakshana Thilakarathne, 5 years old, Sri Lanka

Chakshana Thilakarathne, 5 years old, Sri Lanka

Sanuka Basnayake, 6 years old, Sri Lanka. Frogs Harmony

Sanuka Basnayake, 6 years old, Sri Lanka. Frogs Harmony

Susanna Simon Almeida, 6 years old, India

Susanna Simon Almeida, 6 years old, India

Lithika Adigopula, 6 years old, Jersey City, USA

Lithika Adigopula, 6 years old, Jersey City, USA

1-Paulus Ong Jr, 4,5 years old, Jakarta Indonesia thumbnail
2-Ipek Liva Gurses, 5 years old, Turkey thumbnail
3-Minh Khanh Truong, 6 years old, Vietnam thumbnail
Chakshana Thilakarathne ,5 years old ,sri lanka thumbnail
Sanuka Basnayake, 6 years old, Sri Lanka. Frogs Harmony thumbnail
Susanna Simon Almeida, 6 years old, India thumbnail
Lithika Adigopula, 6 years old, Jersey City, USA thumbnail

WINNERS – Age Group 7-9

Lynn Sun, 9 years old, NJ, USA

Lynn Sun, 9 years old, NJ, USA

Rachel Paulus, 9 years old, Florida, USA

Rachel Paulus, 9 years old, Florida, USA

Md Matin Bin Md Zulkarnain, 7 years old, Singapore

Md Matin Bin Md Zulkarnain, 7 years old, Singapore

Mina Buyukgonenc, 9 years old, Turkey

Mina Buyukgonenc, 9 years old, Turkey

Ritvik Patra, 9 years old, CA, 3D frogs

Ritvik Patra, 9 years old, CA, 3D frogs

Viara Pencheva, 8 years old, Bulgaria, Crocodile and Frogs

Viara Pencheva, 8 years old, Bulgaria, Crocodile and Frogs

1-Lynn Sun, 9 yrs old, NJ, USA thumbnail
2-Rachel Paulus, 9 yrs old, Florida, USA thumbnail
3-Red eye Tree Frog, By Md Matin Bin Md Zulkarnain, Age 7, SINGAPORE thumbnail
Mina-Buyukgonenc-9-yrs-old-Turkey thumbnail
Ritvik Patra, 9 years old, CA, 3D frogs thumbnail
VIARA PENCHEVA, 8 years old, Bulgaria, Crocodile and Frogs thumbnail

WINNERS – Age Group 10-12

Shrushti Chavan, 12, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Shrushti Chavan, 12, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Viktoriya Kukarekina, 10, Texas, USA

Viktoriya Kukarekina, 10, Texas, USA

K Chathushka Jeewantha Perera, 12 yrs old, Sri Lanka

K Chathushka Jeewantha Perera, 12 yrs old, Sri Lanka

Defne Akkaya, 11 years old, Turkey

Defne Akkaya, 11 years old, Turkey

U. K. Samadhi Anjanaa, 12 years old, Sri Lanka. Sampath Rekha International Art Academy

U. K. Samadhi Anjanaa, 12 years old, Sri Lanka. Sampath Rekha International Art Academy

Luniva Joshi, age 12, MS4, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Luniva Joshi, age 12, MS4, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Eylem Konuklar, 10 yrs old, Turkey

Eylem Konuklar, 10 yrs old, Turkey

Seah Hong, 10 years old, CA, USA

Seah Hong, 10 years old, CA, USA

1-Shrushti Chavan, 12, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
2-Viktoriya Kukarekina, 10, Texas, USA thumbnail
3-K-Chathushka-Jeewantha-Perera-12-yrs-old-Sri-Lanka thumbnail
Defne Akkaya -11 years old, Turkey thumbnail
U. K. Samadhi Anjanaa, 12 years old, Sri Lanka. Sampath Rekha International Art Academy thumbnail
Luniva Joshi, age 12, MS4, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
Eylem Konuklar, 10 yrs old, Turkey thumbnail
Seah Hong, 10 years old, CA, USA thumbnail

WINNERS – Age Group 13-17

Gegea Bianca, 15 years old, Romania

Gegea Bianca, 15 years old, Romania

Richard Alicea, 17 years old, Liberty HS, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Richard Alicea, 17 years old, Liberty HS, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Tanvi Gadre, 13 years old, India

Tanvi Gadre, 13 years old, India

Fatemeh Tabrizi, 16 years old, Iran

Fatemeh Tabrizi, 16 years old, Iran

Antariksha Sethiya, 14 years old, India

Antariksha Sethiya, 14 years old, India

Vanessa Gong, 13 yrs old, USA

Vanessa Gong, 13 yrs old, USA

1-Gegea Bianca, 15, Romania thumbnail
2-Richard Alicea 17, Liberty High School, Jersey City, Nj, USA thumbnail
Tanvi-Gadre-13-India thumbnail
Fatemeh Tabrizi, 16 years old, Iran thumbnail
ANTARIKSHA SETHIYA, 14 years old, India thumbnail
Vanessa Gong, 13 yrs old, USA thumbnail

Specialty Categories:

WINNERS – Best of China

Lau Yat Hei, 5 years old, Hong Kong, China

Lau Yat Hei, 5 years old, Hong Kong, China

Ng Yin Hei, 7 years old, Hong Kong, China, School of Creativity

Ng Yin Hei, 7 years old, Hong Kong, China, School of Creativity

Chan Po Chi Angelo, 4 years old, Hong Kong, China, School of Creativity

Chan Po Chi Angelo, 4 years old, Hong Kong, China, School of Creativity

Chau Tse Yin Celine, 4 years old, Hong Kong, China, School of Creativity

Chau Tse Yin Celine, 4 years old, Hong Kong, China, School of Creativity

1-Lau Yat Hei, 5 yrs old, Hong Kong China thumbnail
2-NG-YIN-HEI-7-yrs-old-Hong-Kong-China-School-of-Creativity thumbnail
3-CHAN PO CHI ANGELO, 4 years old, FROM SCHOOL OF CREATIVITY, HONG KONG, CHINA thumbnail
4-CHAU-TSE-YIN-CELINE-4-yrs-old-Hong-Kong-China-School-of-Creativity thumbnail

WINNERS – Best of Turkey

Elcin Sefer, 13 years old, Turkey

Elcin Sefer, 13 years old, Turkey

Ipek Liva Gurses, 5 years old, Turkey

Ipek Liva Gurses, 5 years old, Turkey

Ceren Gunaydin, 9 yrs old, Turkey

Ceren Gunaydin, 9 yrs old, Turkey

Kaya Yuzseven, 12 yrs old, Turkey

Kaya Yuzseven, 12 yrs old, Turkey

Aysel Nur Akar, 8 yrs old, Turkey

Aysel Nur Akar, 8 yrs old, Turkey

1-Elcin Sefer, 13, Turkey thumbnail
2-Ipek Liva Gurses, 5 years old, Turkey thumbnail
3-Ceren Gunaydin, 9 yrs old, Turkey thumbnail
4-Kaya Yuzseven, 12 yrs old, Turkey thumbnail
5-Aysel Nur Akar, 8 yrs old, Turkey thumbnail

WINNERS – Best of Jersey City

Shrushti Chavan, 12 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Shrushti Chavan, 12 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Vibha Jain, 7 years old, Jersey City, NJ

Vibha Jain, 7 years old, Jersey City, NJ

John Rama, 17 years old, Liberty HS, Jersey City, NJ, USA

John Rama, 17 years old, Liberty HS, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Misally Dillard, 17 years old, Liberty High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Misally Dillard, 17 years old, Liberty High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA

1-Shrushti Chavan, 12, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
2-Vibha Jain, 7 years old, Jersey City, NJ thumbnail
3-John Rama 17, Liberty High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
Misally Dillard, 17 Liberty High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail

WINNERS – Best of Hoboken

Margaret K, 7 yrs old, Wallace School, Hoboken, NJ USA

Margaret K, 7 yrs old, Wallace School, Hoboken, NJ USA

Mickael Silvestre, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017

Mickael Silvestre, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017

Beatrice Holder, 7 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017

Beatrice Holder, 7 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017

Molly Lamb, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017

Molly Lamb, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017

Penelope Sprague, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017

Penelope Sprague, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017

1-Margaret-K-7-yrs-old-Wallace-School-Hoboken-NJ-USA thumbnail
2-Mickael Silvestre, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017 thumbnail
3-Beatrice Holder, 7 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017 thumbnail
Molly Lamb, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017 thumbnail
Penelope Sprague, 6 years old, Wallace Elementary, Hoboken, NJ, USA 2017 thumbnail

WINNERS – Best 3D Art

Ritvik Patra, 9 years old, CA, 3D frogs

Ritvik Patra, 9 years old, CA, 3D frogs

Leyla Zehebi, 13 years old, Turkey

Leyla Zehebi, 13 years old, Turkey

Bartek Burda, 12 years old, Scotland Polish Saturday Primary School

Bartek Burda, 12 years old, Scotland Polish Saturday Primary School

Olek Zoblunda, 4 years old, Scotland Polish Saturday Primary School

Olek Zoblunda, 4 years old, Scotland Polish Saturday Primary School

Thanumi De Silva (3 Years old) & Upali Gunasekara (57 Years old), Sri Lanka

Thanumi De Silva (3 Years old) & Upali Gunasekara (57 Years old), Sri Lanka. (We included this child/elder project).

1-Ritvik Patra, 9 years old, CA, 3D frogs thumbnail
2-Leyla-Zehebi-13-years-old-Turkey thumbnail
3-Bartek-Burda-12-years-old-Scotland-Polish-Saturday-Primary-School thumbnail
Olek-Zoblunda-4-years-old-Scotland-Polish-Saturday-Primary-School thumbnail
Thanumi De Silva (3 Years old) & Upali Gunasekara (57 Years old), Sri Lanka thumbnail

WINNERS – Best Environmental

Ansh Gupta, 15 years old, Edison, New Jersey

Ansh Gupta, 15 years old, Edison, New Jersey

Sharanya Sharma, 10 years old, India

Sharanya Sharma, 10 years old, India

Luniva Joshi, age 12, MS4, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Luniva Joshi, age 12, MS4, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Stop Pollution by Arnav Gandhi, 11 years old, India

Stop Pollution by Arnav Gandhi, 11 years old, India

Varnika Pujari, 5 years old, Jersey City, NJ

Varnika Pujari, 5 years old, Jersey City, NJ

1-Ansh Gupta, 15, Edison, New Jersey thumbnail
2-Sharanya Sharma, 10 years old, India thumbnail
3-Luniva Joshi, age 12, MS4, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
4-Stop Pollution by Arnav Gandhi, 11 years old, India thumbnail
5-Varnika Pujari, 5 years old, Jersey City, NJ thumbnail

WINNERS – Best Typographic

Lynn Sun, 9 years old, New Jersey, USA

Lynn Sun, 9 years old, New Jersey, USA

Muneeb Alam, 13 years old, Jersey City, NJ

Muneeb Alam, 13 years old, Jersey City, NJ

Anagha Chimmalagi, 6 years old, New Jersey, USA

Anagha Chimmalagi, 6 years old, New Jersey, USA

Ceren Gunaydin, 9 yrs old, Turkey

Ceren Gunaydin, 9 yrs old, Turkey

Miriam Kimani, age 12, MS #4, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Miriam Kimani, age 12, MS #4, Jersey City, NJ, USA

1-Lynn Sun, 9 yrs old, NJ, USA thumbnail
2-Muneeb Alam, 13 years old, Jersey City, NJ thumbnail
3-Anagha Chimmalagi, 6 years old, New Jersey, USA thumbnail
4-Ceren Gunaydin, 9 yrs old, Turkey thumbnail
5-Miriam Kimani age12 MS#4 Jersey City,NJ USA thumbnail

WINNERS – Best Amphibian Art

John Rama 17, Liberty High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA

John Rama 17, Liberty High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Claire Lee, 10 years old, CA, environmental

Claire Lee, 10 years old, CA, environmental

Shrushti Chavan, 12, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Shrushti Chavan, 12, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Claire Kim, 9 years old, CA, USA

Claire Kim, 9 years old, CA, USA

Priya Neil, 16 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Priya Neil, 16 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Sarah Sheik, 9 yrs old, Jersey City, NJ

Sarah Sheik, 9 yrs old, Jersey City, NJ

Tanvi Gadre, 13 years old, India

Tanvi Gadre, 13 years old, India

1-John Rama 17, Liberty High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
2-Claire Lee, 10 years old, CA environmental thumbnail
3-Shrushti Chavan, 12, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
4-Claire Kim, 9 years old, CA, USA thumbnail
5-Priya Neil, 16 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
6-Sarah Sheik, 9 yrs old, Jersey City, NJ thumbnail
7-Tanvi Gadre, 13, India thumbnail

WINNERS – Best Reptile Art

Yanbo Feng, age 14, United States, Michigan, USA

Yanbo Feng, age 14, United States, Michigan, USA

Rachel Paulus, 9 yrs old, Florida, USA

Rachel Paulus, 9 yrs old, Florida, USA

Elcin Sefer, 13 years old, Turkey

Elcin Sefer, 13 years old, Turkey

Aneira Pereira, 13 years old, United Arab Emirates

Aneira Pereira, 13 years old, United Arab Emirates

Janna Gapuz, 15 years old, McNair Academic High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Janna Gapuz, 15 years old, McNair Academic High School, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Vibha Jain, 7 years old, Jersey City, NJ

Vibha Jain, 7 years old, Jersey City, NJ

1-Yanbo Feng, age 14, United States, Michigan thumbnail
2-Rachel Paulus, 9 yrs old, Florida, USA thumbnail
3-Elcin Sefer, 13, Turkey thumbnail
4-ANEIRA PEREIRA, Age 13, UNITES ARAB EMIRATES thumbnail
5-Janna Gapuz 15 McNair Academic High School thumbnail
6-Vibha Jain, 7 years old, Jersey City, NJ thumbnail

WINNERS – Best Black and White Art

Giwoo Kim, 14 years old, California, USA

Giwoo Kim, 14 years old, California, USA

Tanvi Gadre, 13 years old, India

Tanvi Gadre, 13 years old, India

Justin Tan Chi Yang,11yrs old,SJK(C) Sin Min A,Sungai Petani Kedah Malaysia

Justin Tan Chi Yang,11yrs old,SJK(C) Sin Min A,Sungai Petani Kedah Malaysia

Luniva Joshi, 12 years old, MS #4, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Luniva Joshi, 12 years old, MS #4, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Vitomir Certic, 14 years old, Serbia

Vitomir Certic, 14 years old, Serbia

1-Giwoo Kim, 14 years old, CA thumbnail
2-Tanvi Gadre, 13, India thumbnail
3-Justin Tan Chi Yang,11yrs old,SJK(C) Sin Min A,Sungai Petani Kedah Malaysia thumbnail
4-Luniva Joshi, 12 years old, MS #4, Jersey City, NJ, USA thumbnail
5-Vitomir Certic, 14 years old, Serbia thumbnail
11/19/17

Colorful Catch Basins around Jersey City Star a Red-eyed Tree Frog

Jersey City, have you seen all the colorful images painted on catch basins all around town?

Our city wants residents and business owners to “adopt a catch basin.” When Frogs Are Green heard about this program, in which artists decorate these basins with whatever images you suggest, we claimed a drain, and now the corner of Central Avenue and Bleecker Street boasts a gorgeous, colorful red-eyed tree frog. We also just claimed the opposite corner which we call Biodiversity Matters. Environmental themes make the most sense.

Red-eyed Tree Frog artwork for catch basin in Jersey City Heights.

Red-eyed tree frog artwork for catch basin in Jersey City Heights.

As you walk around Jersey City, you’ll see a lighthouse, fish, turtles, sea turtles, an octopus, and many other original artworks by different artists. When you join the program and adopt a drain, you get to name it and request a certain image.

This is a great way to give artists work, clean up the streets, and show citizens where rain water goes. Once you claim a drain, you become responsible for keeping it clear from trash and, in the colder months, ice and snow. It’s a useful reminder not to throw garbage down there. Year after year I’ve walked around my neighborhood and seen trash and leaves piling up at these catch basins and trees, like a new sign post for trash. Since the city has a limited amount of street cleaners–actual people who only work main streets and only certain days– getting the public involved will help.

 

About the “Adopt a Catch Basin” program from the Jersey City Office of Innovation’s website:

“Catch basins or sewer drains collect storm and rain water from streets and sidewalks, which then travels into the sewer system. Any debris in the street and on the sidewalk can clog and block a catch basin, causing local flooding and potentially polluting our waterways. Our ‘Adopt a Catch Basin’ program empowers local residents and other volunteers to help keep catch basins clean and expand awareness of our sewer system.”

 

Once I made this commitment, I started researching what does go down the drain besides rain water and have discovered some unbelievable facts.

NJ’s sewage systems are old and in serious need of repair. Just read this article about what happened to the Middlesex County Utilities Authority in New Jersey. They were just starting to repair the main pump when Hurricane Sandy hit.

 
…Hurricane Sandy triggered flooding that knocked out the Passaic Valley Utility Authority in Newark—the fifth-largest wastewater treatment facility in the country—for weeks, sending some 840 million gallons of untreated sewage into Newark Bay, according to a 2013 report by the independent research organization Climate Central.

The federal EPA in 2008 estimated the cost of upgrading New Jersey’s CSOs statewide at $9.3 billion.

…Environmentalists warn that the high cost of fixing New Jersey’s ailing sewer systems pales beside the cost of doing nothing. While our ocean waters were deemed swimmable in a July 2013 DEP assessment, 73 percent of the state’s non-ocean waters tested failed due to bacteria indicating the presence of fecal matter. And only 3 percent of 952 watersheds were judged safe to eat, with 38 percent containing dangerous levels of mercury or toxic PCBs…

Please read the entire article here:
https://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/down-the-drain-njs-sewage-system/
 

Just imagine what this means to wildlife. Let’s all do our part in helping the environment be safe for all.

 

06/18/17

Children’s Frog Drawings Published

Four hundred frogs!

It all began by having a meeting at the Wallace Elementary School with the art teacher and approval for the school to participate by the Principal and Superintendent. Ms. Lynn Fusco, art teacher extraordinaire, taught the students about frogs and children ages 6-12 created black and white frog drawings.

I teach part-time at the school, so every week when I came back to the school, Ms. Fusco would hand me more artworks, until all 400 had been turned in. I photographed the art and added them to our international galleries on the Flickr website Frog Art. (Just one of our many galleries)!

Finally, it was time for the judges to make their selections from the field of 1441 artworks from 35 countries. Many selected the Hoboken childrens’ artwork and they appear here and there in the many categories we have on our website. Ms. Fusco created posters by hand and put them up in a few places around the school to feature the winners.

Wallace School frog art winners

But, I knew that I had to do more! When a school as a whole surpasses your expectations and the Wallace School delivered 400 strong, you must reward them!

First, I selected 24 artworks and they were on display in Hoboken’s City Hall during Earth Day and also in Jersey City City Hall’s caucus room. I will add that the artworks are up indefinitely in JC, unless another group needs the space.

hoboken-city-hall-shows-frog-artworks

City-Hall-Jersey-City-frogs-are-green-display

Then, I carefully reviewed and selected 101 to publish in “101 Wallace School Frogs” A Frogs Are Green Coloring Book. I scanned the art, designed the book and published it in May, 2017.

101 Wallace School Frogs - A Frogs Are Green Coloring Book

In addition, we have collaborated with the Wallace PTO and if you buy the book on Amazon Smile and select the Wallace Parent Teacher Organization as your charity, they get a percentage.

Purchase copies on Amazon Smile here >> 101 Wallace School Frogs

And… we’re not done yet!

Next week, we’re having a book publishing party with the 101 students who are in the book!

What a great effort! I can’t wait to see what happens in September when we open the 8th annual kids art contest!