Each year as Earth Day approaches, Frogs Are Green goes into high gear.
Sunday, April 19, we celebrated with our local (and not so local) area, as many came out on a beautiful spring day to the Pershing Field Vietnam Veterans Memorial Community Center in Jersey City Heights, to see the winning artworks done by children around the world.
We’ve published our “Frogs, Amphibians and Their Threatened Environment” six-week curriculum book on Amazon and Createspace!
Pick it up here >> Frog and Art Curriculum
We have two new awesome posters: one for “Saving the Bees” with a gorgeous micro close-up by wildlife photographer, Wes Deyton… and our adorable “Naturally FROGADELIC” illustrated by the always original, Mary Ann Farley.
Visit our shop here: Frogs Are Green Shop
Earth Day Buzz – Save the Honeybee – Photograph courtesy of Wes Deyton.
Naturally Frogadelic – Earth Day Poster 2015 by Susan Newman, founder, Frogs Are Green; Illustration courtesy of Mary Ann Farley.
We also want to share that our favorite Frog author, Irwin Quagmire Wart has written a new book and you can pick up a free download 4/21 – 4/25: >> Green Is Good
On Saturday, April 25th, Frogs Are Green will visit Liberty State Park’s Earth Day Festival and Sunday, April 26th, we will have a tent/table at the Earth Day festival in front of Jersey City’s City Hall! Children will be able to sit and draw pictures of frogs and nature. Art supplies and frog/amphibian reference on hand.
Swing by and visit us and have a fabulous EARTH DAY (week) and Happy Save The Frogs Day too!
We all have something we’re passionate about, and it’s not always easy to get others to share our enthusiasm, but yesterday, Jersey City came out to learn about frogs, amphibians and enjoy the Earth Day / Save The Frogs Day event.
As the event began, we set out all the delicious, healthy food (some came from vegan, organic, gluten-free baker Chef Camillo Sabella), the wine and beverages, and the day’s musical guests, The Gully Hubbards began to play. People started streaming in. Artists, nature-lovers, neighbors, parents and children (some who take Saturday morning art classes at the Distillery Gallery) and everybody would say how great the space was, the music sounded, and how amazing the art was.
At about 5 pm, a reporter from Jersey City 1 TV (JC1TV) arrived and interviewed me about Frogs Are Green, what the Green Dream is about, and why it’s so important to save frogs. Then Mayor Steven Fulop arrived and we took some photos, and talked together about frogs. He was quite informed on the topic, so the discussion was very good. Then the reporter captured the Mayor and I discussing frogs and why we must save them. The Mayor moved around the gallery looking at the art, talking with others and the children also. Then we moved to the back end of gallery along with the two curators, Kristin DeAngelis and Gabriel Pacheco and the Mayor spoke to the crowd about frogs and amphibians, and the three of us spoke as well. The Mayor gave us proclamations, and we gave the Mayor gifts. A painted flowerpot (with flowering plant) by one of the children who is enrolled in the Saturday classes at the gallery, a Green Dream t-shirt, and one of the most recent Earth Day posters from Frogs Are Green, illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault. It was so fantastic to see a crowd so into this.
Afterward, there were two environmental speakers, Michelle Anne Luebke, an instructor at CUNY and an environmentalist and Laura Skolar of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, who spoke. There were so many children at yesterday’s event, some who sat on the floor in a circle and were drawing with chalk and crayons. We did the drawing of the raffle contest and the winner was announced, but wasn’t there, so he will be notified. One lucky child receives a year of art classes at the gallery for free!
The overall harmony of the event was perfect. The people, music, food, and excitement with photographers and TV, made the event a thrill for me and everybody had a fabulous time. There will be many more photos to come (from the official photographer, Danny Chong) as well as video of course, but here are a few, so you share in the event’s success.
— Susan Newman, founder, Frogs Are Green
Susan Newman and Mayor Steven Fulop talk about saving frogs and their importance to our ecosystem.
The Gully Hubbards play at Green Dream for Save The Frogs day.
Gary Van Miert, Susan Newman, Dave Ace Case
Thomas Tyburski and John Crittenden at Green Dream.
Children gather to draw pictures, maybe of frogs!
Kristin DeAngelis, Susan Newman, Mayor Steven Fulop, Gabriel Pacheco at Green Dream in Jersey City.
Proclamation to Frogs Are Green and Distillery Gallery for Green Dream.
Jersey City 1 TV films, Frogs Are Green founder Susan Newman and Mayor Steven Fulop with Distillery Gallery curators, Kristin DeAngelis and Gabriel Pacheco.
Laura Skolar of Jersey City Parks Coalition speaking to crowd.
Michelle Anne Luebke, instructor at CUNY and environmentalist speaks to crowd.
Susan Newman and Chef Camillo Sabella, who brought his gluten-free, vegan,organic, kosher-style and low fat macaroons!
Ask any child whether they like frogs and the answer is always YES!
When I walk around my own neighborhood, I see children with frog umbrellas, boots, hats and they can easily imitate the sound of a frog too! Ribbit!
This is why Frogs Are Green was founded in 2009. Bringing awareness everyday to what’s happening on our planet and that frogs everywhere are disappearing.
We’re giving children the opportunity to learn about the environment, frogs and amphibians and express themselves. It’s through art that even 3 year old’s can share what they think.
This April, Frogs Are Green is partnering with The Distillery Gallery and Artspace in Jersey City, to exhibit 100s of artworks received from children around the world. This is the 1st exhibition of artwork received from international children for the annual Frogs Are Green art contest, 2009 through 2013. Some artwork will be hung on the walls of the gallery space and 100s more will be shown via digital projection.
The Distillery Gallery and Artspace was chosen for this exhibition because they have children’s art classes on Saturday mornings and those young artists will be participating in the show also, by displaying their frog pictures and beautifully painted flowerpots created for this Earth Day event.
Won’t you please support our Indiegogo fundraiser, building the awareness in children, who are the future stewards of our planet.
It’s our Green Dream that this exhibition will travel to a city near you next!
Each Fall Frogs Are Green hosts a Kids’ Art Contest. It gives me such a thrill when hundreds of children from around the world answer that call.
These children are enrolled in after school art programs. Their parents must realize how important it is to enrich their child’s education and encourage them to express themselves through art.
I grew up in Queens, New York, and my parents enrolled me in ballet and piano lessons, and my father, an accountant by day and an artist by night, would sit with me and teach me how to draw a house or a tree. He was so excited when I chose art as my career and began my higher education at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
My brother and sister and I were introduced to a thriving cultural world. We would get dressed up and head into New York for the circus, Ice Capades, ballet, museums, Broadway theater and opera. This gave me a rounded appreciation for the arts that I still feel.
Is this culture missing in children’s lives today?
I will tell you that the submissions to the 2013 contest yielded 450 entries, but only a few came from the USA. My only conclusion is that children in this country are not being taught arts appreciation the way I was decades ago. Is this due to the digital age of games and apps, or the economy and arts classes/programs being cut? When children spend their days watching TV and playing games that others have created, and they are not learning how to express themselves, this will hurt them later in life. I’m sure of it.
When I see the artwork that comes in from kids between 3 and 12 from Estonia, Australia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, South Africa, Macedonia, Serbia, India, China and so many other countries it’s clear from their skills that they are not learning just about art but conveying their own personal messages about the state of the environment and how they feel about frogs. The USA is just not seeing how important this ability to self-express is, and so it must change for the next generation.
I’m happy to share that The Distillery Gallery & Artspace in Jersey City, New Jersey does have art classes for kids (as do a few other places here) on Saturday mornings, and it is partnering with Frogs Are Green to bring our “Green Dream” to life and show why children need this education in their lives.
Opening on April 4 and running through April 27, “Green Dream” will be an International Children’s Earth Day Exhibition. It will be the first time Frogs Are Green is showcasing the amazing artwork received over the years. Many of the works will be hung on the walls and a digital projector will show hundreds more. The children in The Distillery art classes will also be showing their frog pictures and are creating flower pots.
I hope you will celebrate with us on Earth Day (4.22), Save the Frogs Day (4.26) and join us with your children for this extraordinary event. If you would like to learn more and support this effort to increase environmental awareness and heal the planet, visit the Indiegogo campaign here:
Today is Save the Frogs Day, the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action, organized by Save the Frogs, an organization dedicated to protecting the world’s amphibian species, founded by ecologist Dr. Kerry Kriger.
Funds raised in the many Save the Frogs Day events go in part for grants to help amphibian projects in developing countries that have high rates of deforestation, including Nepal, Madagascar, and Liberia. Without funds from Save the Frogs, these projects might not have been possible.
At Frogs Are Green, we would like to encourage you to check out the events that are going on today around the world, and also to urge you to do something, even something small, to help out. Educating just one person about the plight of amphibians will help.
One-third of all amphibians are at risk of extinction and we should be concerned. After all, we humans also share this planet with amphibians, a planet that seems to have become too unhealthy for an entire group of animals. By saving frogs, we also save ourselves.
Please see the Save the Frogs site for lots of suggestions for getting involved on Save the Frogs Day—and everyday.
Here’s a cool t-shirt you can buy over at Save the Frogs:
When was your organization founded? Please tell us a bit about its mission, goals…
Save the Frogs is the first and only public charity devoted to amphibians. It was founded in May 2008. Our mission is to save and protect amphibians, as well as to respect and appreciate nature and wildlife.
I founded Save the Frogs because frogs were rapidly disappearing around the world. About one-third of amphibians are on the verge of extinction. At least 2,000 species are threatened and if nothing is done, will likely go extinct. Most of the work previous to Save the Frogs was done by scientists helping amphibians, but educating the public about the issue is also very important.
Save the Frogs has education programs and works to get laws in place, for example, to get frogs legs out of restaurants, provide schools with alternatives to dissecting frogs, and prevent non-native frogs from being imported.
The biggest thing is environmental education so I created Save the Frogs Day, an event which comes around each year. This April 28th will be the 4th annual Save the Frogs Day and there will be 200 events in 30 countries, which will top last year’s 143 events in 21 countries.
The events bring awareness around the world, especially on that particular day and it receives significant publicity in the media.
What is your educational background and what lead to creating this organization?
I was always interested math and science and studied mechanical engineering as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, but soon realized I wanted to pursue environmental science. I went back to school to study biology in preparation for graduate school.
I spent a summer in Hawaii volunteering with PhD students who were studying birds. It was then that I knew environmental science was my path. I loved hanging out at streams, so thought about what types of animals live in streams and then found out that frogs were disappearing. I thought frogs would be great to study for my PhD, so I went to Australia and came across Mark Hero in South East Queensland, who became my supervisor. I studied frogs, and the disease, chytrid fungus, which is driving amphibians to extinction.
I finished my PhD, came back to the United States and founded Save the Frogs. I love my work because it’s a combination of communicating awareness, educating the public and science.
What are some challenges you have faced and how did you deal with them?
The first challenge was funding, because we founded in 2008 during the economic recession. Raising funds for a non-profit is hard in the best of times, plus saving frogs is still somewhat of an obscure topic. Most people still don’t know why we should protect frogs.
Save the Frogs works hard on awareness by using the web and speaking to the public directly.
I try to get publicity through newspapers and for-profit corporations involved. Some of them have practices that are harmful to the environment. Many companies when approached don’t necessarily care about what they are doing and only care about making money.
At least one billion frogs are taken out of the environment for use as food in restaurants (frogs legs) and farm-raised frogs carry diseases and if you approach restaurants and ask them to stop selling them, they only see it as a monetary loss.
I have and will continue to approach tech firms in nearby in Silicon Valley for funding. Many of them have no environmental program.
How is climate change effecting amphibians?
Climate change is a huge problem, so it’s good that it gets a lot of attention. We need more people in the government looking seriously at climate change and what to do about it. It’s very important to amphibians because they are very connected to precipitation levels.
“Amphibian” means two lives, one on land and one in the water. Frogs either lay their eggs in water or in leaf litter and the ones who are not in the water are in cloud forests in tropical countries. As the temperature rises, the cloud level rises and the leaf litter dries up. This means that the frogs must continually move up and eventually will run out of space. Many of the frog species live on a particular mountain and only that mountain, so if something happens to that species it can go extinct.
It’s not just tropical forests that are in trouble, Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. has had droughts. About one fourth of the ponds have started to dry up and many frog species are on the decline.
Save the Frogs had five posters up in airports around the country and the one in O’Hare is still up and has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people.
How do you reach your targeted audience? Is it through your website, advertising or social media or another route? Which is most effective and why?
The best way I can reach people is through our Save the Frogs website which has helped make it a worldwide organization. Our e-newsletter is also a great tool because whenever we need help and send it out, we can reach tens of thousands of people. We recently sent out an email with a free download of “The Wild World of Frogs” and it got 40,000 downloads in the first day! Many of those downloads were from friends forwarding the newsletter to their friends.
We create a variety of flyers people can post around their towns. Most things we do are free and up on our website and if you give people the tools they will help spread the word.
Some of the other ways we reach people is through our Facebook page with frequent updates, as well as through Twitter.
I give live presentations and did 65 this year. I believe you can get more people involved by interacting with them face-to-face. I’m trying to get more teachers involved and Save the Frogs Day on April 28 is a great way and to get lots of people talking about it.
What can people do to help?
There are lots of ways to help Save the Frogs! Our website has over 250 pages of information. I feel that educating yourself on the issues is the first step and then subscribing to our newsletter to stay informed.
Learning how you can change your ecological footprint is a great way to help. Everything you do effects the environment.
There are lots of ways to volunteer and many things can be done through the internet so you can be from anywhere! There is a form on our website you can fill out. We have various campaigns and also need help writing letters to the government, for example, the campaign to ban Atrazine. Visit our “take action” page.
Save the Frogs is a 5013C public charity and has a wish list of things we need which is also posted on our website.
Tell us about your events around the world and some of the campaigns you have started.
Save the Frogs is an international organization because amphibians are disappearing all over the world. A few years ago I was asked down to Panama to give a five day talk on molecular biology and also taught the scientists there how to detect the chytrid fungus disease. If you cannot detect the disease, how can you do any research on it. The materials and information is available on the Save the Frogs website. “QPC” is the technique for detecting the disease and the materials have been downloaded by scientists in over 30 countries.
Last year I got invited to Korea and was the representative for the 1st Amphibian International Symposium. I traveled around Korea for 10 days doing environmental work. Seeing what types of problems they had, coming up with solutions and giving presentations to communities, groups and schools. We have applied for a $50,000 grant that would go to helping Korea’s amphibians.
In September, 2011 I spent a month in Ghana and helped them start Save the Frogs Ghana. We are registering it as a NGO with the government of Ghana. It will be an independent Save the Frogs working on it’s own. We have written a proposal to help the Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptidae: Arthroleptis) and also to make the Atewa Hills a national park. We are trying to save the Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi) which lives in only two streams and are threatened by mining. They are a fully aquatic frog and swim as fast as a fish.
What is in the works for the future?
Save the Frogs is coming to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in March 2012. I will be looking for schools and community groups for presentations.
Save the Frogs Day is April 28th and we have a 5k race planned in Seattle and another event in San Francisco. There will be “Ban Atrazine” rallies and we will be raising awareness about it.
New campaigns include a petition to Governor Gerry Brown to stop the importation of American Bullfrogs. About 3 million are imported to the state of California each year. Being native to the east coast, when they come to California, they eat the native wildlife and they are primarily for pets, dissection and frogs legs in restaurants. They carry the chytrid fungus so are spreading the disease.
Nathan’s Famous is now selling frogs legs and I want to get this to stop. The executive and CEOs have refused to address the issue. They need to take some environmental responsibility.
Helping Save the Frogs Ghana
Ghana is a poor country and frogs are in trouble because of illegal foresting. There are now programs in place to teach mushroom farming and bee keeping which can change a family’s life. We will be working to get the Atewa Hills a national park.
To learn more about Save the Frogs visit the links below: