Each year between early March and April, salamanders and frogs leave their hibernation burrow to return back to their homes, called vernal pools, to breed and lay the next generation of eggs. This phenomenon occurs in a number of locations throughout Cleveland Metroparks, especially Brecksville Reservation where many amphibians cross Valley Parkway on warm and rainy nights.
Amphibian populations are on the decline due to many environmental factors and disease. Cleveland Metroparks is dedicated to making sure that the spotted and Jefferson salamanders, wood frogs and spring peepers cross roads safely. During the right conditions of warm and rainy weather, a portion of Valley Parkway in Brecksville Reservation is closed between 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. to allow the migration to occur without incident.
Protect these amphibians during their migration by respecting the following rules and regulations:
- Do not touch or handle amphibians: They breathe, in part, through their skin. Handling them can lead to illness, infection and even death for the animal.
- Stay on the road or all-purpose trail: As amphibians migrate to the vernal pools, it is difficult to see them. They are well-camouflaged and may be moving under leaves and hiding under logs. Do not enter the woods around the ponds; stay on the pavement.
- Use a flashlight and extreme caution: If you are walking at night in the Park District, use a flashlight to illuminate every step taken. These amphibians are small and very difficult to see in the dark. Please walk slowly and carefully. One wrong step can crush an animal.
Collecting amphibians or any other animal along with damaging, disturbing or removing any part of the Park District including plants and rocks is strictly prohibited.
For specific salamander or frog migration information, call Brecksville Nature Center at 440-526-1012. Learn more about amphibians and witness their spring migration at any of these March programs, including:
Amphibians on the Move
Monday, March 5 � 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Brecksville Nature Center � Brecksville Reservation
Each spring, thousands of amphibians venture from within the forest to vernal or temporary pools to breed. Join Cleveland Metroparks Naturalist Kelly McGinnis and National Park Service Ranger Paul Motts for a two-part program that introduces the amphibians. Then enjoy a hike when migrating conditions are just right to spot a few amphibians. Registration, beginning February 24, is required. Brecksville Nature Center is located off Chippewa Creek Drive, off the Route 82 entrance of Brecksville Reservation in Brecksville. For more information and to register, call 440-526-1012.
Friday, March 28 � 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Garfield Park Nature Center � Garfield Park Reservation
Young children will love learning more about the shy, secretive salamander. We'll have story time, make a fun craft and take a short hike to a salamander spot to look for some of these slippery creatures. Registration, beginning March 1, is required. This is a program for children, ages 3 to 5 with an adult. Garfield Park Nature Center is located off the Broadway Avenue entrance of Garfield Park Reservation in Garfield Heights. For more information and to register, call 216-341-3152 or visit clevelandmetroparks.com.
Monday, March 31 � 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Rocky River Nature Center � Rocky River Reservation
Join Naturalist Jen Brumfield on a salamander search. The redback salamander is easier to find on warmer and wet nights in March and April. Rocky River Nature Center is located at 24000 Valley Parkway in Rocky River Reservation, north of Cedar Point Road in North Olmsted. For more information, or to register, visit clevelandmetroparks.com or call 440-734-6660.
Cleveland Metroparks - Discover, Enjoy, Protect!