The New Castle Conservation Board would like to invite residents to participate in "Big Night" - the annual amphibian road crossing on Friday night, March 11th in alliance with the NYS DEC and Teatown Lake Reservation.
The DEC and Teatown provide training and coordinate volunteers to assist amphibians (frogs, toads and salamanders) on their annual journeys - helping them to safely cross roads to reach nearby vernal pools to breed. (Vernal pools are transient seasonal bodies of water that appear in the late winter/early spring - they provide a safe place for laying eggs (no fish that would eat their eggs) and these pools then evaporate by the end of the season).
“Big Nights” happen in late winter/early spring - on the first couple of nights of the season when the temps rise and it’s raining - and many frogs, toads and salamanders are on the move. (Without the help of volunteers, many of these frogs, toads and salamanders are vulnerable to being hit by cars as they cross the road).
"Now in its 14th year, DEC’s Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings Project (AM&RC) was initiated by the Hudson River Estuary Program and Cornell University to raise awareness about critical amphibian habitat, engage volunteers to help collect data on the annual migration, and reduce amphibian road mortality. More than 800 volunteers have participated in the effort since 2009, and helped move an estimated 27,390 salamanders, frogs, and toads safely across roads." - NYS DEC
This Friday - March 11 - is expected to be the next “Big Night.”
New Castle resident and Teatown wildlife educator Elissa Schilmeister will help lead New Castle residents who are interested in volunteering on Friday night. She will provide all the necessary materials and equipment (safety vests, amphibian crossing road signs, etc.) for New Castle volunteers to use to ensure a safe and fun experience for all participants. If you'd like to learn more about volunteering to help, please contact Elissa directly at
For additional information, here are a couple of links about "Big Night" and a link to a volunteer training video on the NYS DEC website.
2022 DEC training video: