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Notes, comments and observations from the Lifestyle and Entertainment desk by Lifestyle Editor Aixa Torregrosa-Vazquez.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The toads need your help

Here's your chance to give nature a hand. Just got this PR for the annual Toad Detour.

Toad Detour Volunteer Orientation
For Annual Spring Migration

PHILADELPHIA - It's hard to believe that the toads will start their spring migration soon with all this snow on the ground! We are preparing in advance with a Volunteer Orientation to go over volunteer protocol and ensure that the migration goes smoothly. Anyone interested in volunteering to help Roxborough toads cross the road during their annual migration is invited to attend the Volunteer Orientation. If you are interested, but can't attend the meeting, please contact Toad Detour Coordinator, Lisa Levinson, at
Date: Sunday, February 27
Time: 4-5 p.m.
Location: Dick James Room at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road, Philadelphia.

RSVP:, 215-620-2130


Anyone interested in volunteering to help Philly toads can sign up for a volunteer shift online and join our email list to be alerted during nights of heavy migration. Volunteers are needed to place barricades and signs, distribute Toad Migration leaflets to commuters, count migrating toads, and help toads safely cross the road. You will automatically be added to the “on call” email/phone list to be contacted during the nights of heavy migration. If you have questions, please contact DETOUR Coordinator, Lisa Levinson: 215-620-2130,

Toad Detour Background
Each spring, between mid-March and late-April, hundreds of toads migrate from the forest at the Schuylkill Center For Environmental Education (SCEE) across Hagy’s Mill and Port Royal roads. They also migrate from the surrounding woods across Eva Street. These toads are headed towards the Roxborough Reservoir to mate. Their journey is a dangerous one, since they cross at night and must evade oncoming traffic. Hundreds of commuters who seek to avoid lights on Ridge Avenue travel these roads daily. Before the Toad Detour, the toad population was steadily decreasing due to traffic fatalities. With community help, toads can safely cross the road again. Toads are very important members of the food chain in our area. The entire ecosystem depends on their survival. The DETOUR Project (Detour for Emerging Toads Of Upper Roxborough) is an effort to protect toads as they migrate to and from their breeding ground each year and to raise public awareness about the migration. The DETOUR Committee is composed of local citizens and officials from various agencies (Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Mobilization For Animals Pennsylvania, Fairmount Park, Applied Ecological Services, Residents of Shawmont Valley Association, Philadelphia Police Department 5th District, Philadelphia Streets Department, Roxborough/Manayunk/Miquon Historical Association). The Committee initiates new policies improving migration safety for local toads, such as road detours and public education programs. During the migration, community volunteers man the barricades and erect signs to detour oncoming traffic towards alternate routes. Students from local schools learn about the toad life cycle and participate in activities to help educate the public about the migration.


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