Avalon Theisen, 14-year-old environmentalist, animal advocate and educator

Avalon Theisen—the 14-year-old Tampa environmentalist, animal advocate, and founder of Conserve It Forward—describes what Conserve It Forward is and does, and what prompted her to launch it 2010 (at age nine). wpb14e209a_06She explains how the organization has evolved, including adding an element that reflects her growing interest in “a plant-based lifestyle,” noting that she’s working on developing an app that would help guide people through related information and choices. Theisen confirms that frogs, initially the core aspect of Conserve It Forward, remain a keen interest, explaining why they’re vitally important, including their status as an indicator species and recalling that through her affiliation with Dr. Kerry Kriger’s Save The Frogs national organization, she has for manyConserveItForward_Logo-287x300 years organized local Save The Frogs Day events. In response to the observation that Theisen appeared to have a very busy, very exciting summer of traveling and new adventures, she recounts some of those activities, including several days at Farm Sanctuary, attending the Youth Empowered Action Camp (where similarly bright, ambitious, change-minded teens dealt with such topics as bullying in schools, LGBTQ activism, interacting with the public, AvalonFS1conservation and animal advocacy), and delivering a presentation about climate change at “Think eARTh: The Tampa Bay I Want To Inherit,” a multi-faceted children’s art initiative and educational program. She addresses a few of the many awards and honors she has received, and speculates where all her early work and accomplishments may be heading educationally and professionally.  (www.conserveitforward.org, www.facebook.com/ConserveItForwardWithAvalon?fref=ts)

ALSO: I spoke briefly with Julie Watkins, about a then-impending press conference and rally taking place in Orlando, addressing the Florida bear hunt, slated to begin Oct. 24, and statewide protests and other efforts designed to raise awareness about the hunt, and delay—if not halt—it. (http://stopflbearhunt.com, www.facebook.com/stopbearhunt)

COMEDY CORNER: Matt Braunger’s “Panda Butler” (portion) (www.mattbraunger.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Froggie Went A Courtin’ ” (Happy Birthday, Bruce!)


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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