Avalon Theisen and her Froggy Projects

Hello, again, FrogBlog readers!  In my last entry, I told you that I would share more about two froggy things I am working on.  First of all, I started a petition to get Florida a State Amphibian.  I find it very strange that our state, which has so much amphibian diversity, does not officially have a single frog or
salamander to represent it!  Some people have worked really hard to get the Barking treefrog (Hyla gratiosa) to be the Florida State Amphibian for years, and they have raised a lot of awareness.  I don’t know why it hasn’t happened yet, but I believe the more support and petition signatures we get, the better chance we have.   We need to keep trying!

Barking treefrogs are very beautiful, but though I hear them sometimes, I have almost never seen one in nature.  I think that the State Amphibian should be one that most people have seen and heard, and that is why I started my own petition to help Florida get a State Amphibian, preferably the Southern toad (Anaxyrus terrestris).   You can sign online at http://tinyurl.com/FLStateAmphibianWithAvalon, and in person at my booths and presentations.  You can also download a petition on my website, so you can collect your own signatures if you are in Florida.

As you know, Save the Frogs Day is coming up on April 27, 2013.  You may have seen my video about it on the Save The Frogs! YouTube channel.   I am busy getting ready for the Tampa Bay area’s Save The Frogs Day event.  In 2010, I gave a speech about this worldwide day of amphibian conservation and education action.  Every year since then, I have planned a free event where families can play games, do activities, and learn about frogs and the environment.   We are ending the event again with a human frog chorus and prize drawing!  I am so happy to have support this year from the following, which will carry over to other amphibian conservation programs that Conserve It Forward does:

– Save The Frogs Day Organizer package

– Disney Friends for Change grant

– Greening Forward Earth Savers Club Challenge grant

– Prize drawing donors:  Totem Magic: Going MAD by author John Griffith, Pacha’s Pajamas, Froguts, and more!

If you are in the Tampa Bay area, we hope to see you at Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center, from 10am-1:30pm on April 27th.  You can pre-register at my organization’s website, www.ConserveItForward.org.

Last year, I sent in packages to the Mayor of Tampa and the Governor of Florida, asking them to officially recognize Save The Frogs Day.   Mayor Bob Buckhorn was awesome in issuing a Proclamation, but I was not successful with our Governor.  This year, I tried again, and I hope to have good news to report in a future blog entry!

Here are a few other places I have taken my amphibian conservation programs in the past few weeks:   Tuscawilla Learning Center’s Wild Wednesday; Camp Bayou’s Spring Open House; and Hillsborough County’s Lake, Pond & Stream Night.  “You Can Help Save Frogs,” my latest column in Bay Soundings, is now available, too, and I would love for you to read it!  http://baysoundings.com/Stories/You-Can-Help-Save-Frogs.asp


I love what I do because I feel it helps the world be a better place.   Last month, I traveled to Asheville, NC where I walked the green carpet and was awarded the Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Award in the category of Outstanding Youth in Conservation, by Wild South.   Just this week, I attended the Hillsborough County Commissioners’ meeting where I was given the Youth Excellence and Achievement Award for Community Service.  I am so honored to be given these awards because they help raise more awareness for amphibian conservation action.

I hope you all have a great Save the Frogs Day!  I invite you to visit me online at www.ConserveItForward.org, and “like” us on Facebook at www.FB.com/ConserveItForwardWithAvalon.    Peace & love to you all!