Category Archives: Philadelphia

Volunteer Toad Detour

ID-100609(Image courtesy of James Barker at

by Robert Barossi

At this time of year, toads, frogs, salamanders and many other species are on theĀ  move. They are leaving their winter homes and heading to nearby spots to spend the spring and summer. In Roxborough, a suburb of Philadelphia, volunteers are working as a sort of crossing guard, watching over a “toad detour” during this important migratory period. Volunteers work during the evening hours, watching for the toads and making sure they make it safely across a heavily traveled road. According to the nearby Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, the detour has significantly minimized the population decreases caused by street-crossing toads being hit by cars. This work, and the volunteers who are in large part making the work possible, is going a long way to protect and preserve the toads and their essential role in the local ecosystem.

If you have enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook: Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day



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Inner-City Teens Volunteer in Green Spaces

IMG_1206(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Having lived in Philadelphia for a year, I’ve spent some time experiencing every part of that city. It’s not hard to imagine how the teens mentioned in this article from might get very little exposure to nature and green spaces. Luckily, there are groups such as the Student Conservation Association, which spends six weeks every summer leading groups of inner-city teens in volunteer projects. The volunteer work includes removing invasive species and clearing nature trails. It also provides mentoring and real-world skills which the teens can take with them into their future education and career. This great program is providing these teens with job skills and a connection to nature that they might have little or no opportunity get.

Check out more information about the Student Conservation Association.