Each spring, a flood of toads that live in the woods surrounding the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education attempt to cross Port Royal Road to get to the Roxborough Reservoir where they congregate to mate. Every year, this heavily trafficked back road is littered with the remains of hundreds of toads crushed by cars. For the past three years, the toad population has steadily declined due to traffic fatalities.Witnesses report 50 percent fewer toads migrating each year. On the main migration night in 2008, 100 dead toads were counted on the road while only 25 were observed crossing the road over a two-hour period. 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 Toad Migration Project 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 Toad Migration Committee is composed of local citizens and officials from various local agencies (SCEE, Residents of Shawmont Valley Association, Andorra Police, Philadelphia Streets Department). The Committee will initiate new policies improving migration safety for local toads, such as temporary road detours on evenings of heavy migration, and educate the community about migration safety. Community volunteers are needed to alert local officials about the start and end of the migration.

Signs are needed to alert oncoming traffic during migration season and encourage alternate routes. The Green Woods Charter School will create Public Service Announcements for local television and radio to alert commuters about the migration.

The Toad Migration Project, a committee of local residents, representatives from the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, The Schuylkill Wildlife Rescue Center, the Fifth District Police, the Philadelphia Streets Department, and concerned friends of wildlife will be meeting at the Andorra Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, 705 East Cathedral Rd (Henry Ave. & Cathedral Rd.) Philadelphia, PA 19128-2106 on March 4, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

If you want to help toads cross the roads, educate drivers about the migration, or learn more about the Toad Migration Project, attend their upcoming meeting or contact Lisa Levinson at: lisa@publiceyephilly.org 215-620-2130.