Every Spring, typically in April, toads migrate from their woodland homes in search of wetlands, where they begin calling to find a mate, and lay thousands of eggs in the water.
Amphibian migrations give us a rare glimpse into their mysterious world, where dozens or hundreds of toads may be observed on the Overlook campus in one night, and few will be seen the rest of the year. The best times for migration are warm, rainy nights with temperatures above 60 degrees. Plan to stay up past your bedtime, and bring a raincoat, flashlight, and reflective clothing if possible. Optional AMPHIBIAN PATROL vests are available for purchase at That Fish Place in Lancaster with all proceeds benefitting this conservation effort.
Just enter your info in the form below to join the Toad Alert email list. If we think the conditions are right, we’ll send you a heads up by email, and you can unsubscribe any time.
Thanks for helping us increase awareness and community stewardship of our natural resources!
We appreciate seeing people of all ages monitoring Overlook Park with flashlights and cameras since April 2014. Thousands of live toads have been seen by volunteers. Many were removed from the roads. Millions of baby toads have been saved!
1. Overlook Toad Watch is an environmental stewardship effort at Overlook Park, 595 Granite Run Dr, Lancaster, PA 17601
2. Peak toad migration activity occurs at Overloook every year, mainly during the month of April, on warm, wet nights above 50 degrees. You can watch for this type of weather forecast on your own, or let the Lancaster Herpetological Society track it for you. Just fill out the form above to receive Toad Alert emails when we expect peak activity.
3. Arrive at the park just before dusk, about 7:30-7:45 PM. Drive slowly into the park and watch for early toads on the road! Toad Happy Hour is roughly 8-9 PM. Many volunteers like to arrive earlier to visit Manheim Township Public Library, the Overlook playground, or to visit many of the nearby restaurants and businesses.
4. Volunteers may use several different parking areas located throughout the park. Overlook Park closes promptly at 10 p.m. Local law enforcement patrols the area.
5. Volunteers should wear bright colors or reflective vests and carry a flashlight.
6. Volunteers simply follow the walking trails throughout the park on their own, on the lookout for migrating toads. Our main objective is to prevent toads from being run over in the road. Please do not remove toads from unpaved areas. Please remember that toads are on an important mission, and should not be moved unless they are crossing a road or parking lot. Brief photo-ops are okay, and we’d enjoy seeing your best pictures on our Facebook page. But remember that toads are on their way to a big party and should not be interrupted for very long.
7. When toads are encountered crossing the road, gently scoop them up, cupping your hands together rather than squeezing them, and escort them across the road in the direction they are heading.
8. VOLUNTEERS SHOULD NOT ENTER PONDS OR WETLANDS! These areas are critical toad habitat. Entering ponds and wetlands may spread dangerous germs and destroy freshly laid toad eggs. If you see someone entering ponds or wetlands, you may remind them of this important fact.
9. If there is little activity on roadways, just enjoy your walk in the park! Listen to the beautiful sounds of toads calling in the retention pond near Fruitville Pike, or many of the other wetlands around the park where cattails are growing.