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Saving amphibians can start in your own backyard.

The alluring sight and sound of water in the home landscape has made water gardening one of the fastest growing segments of home gardening. Millions of people are enjoying ornamental ponds and watercourses at their homes at a time when frogs, toads, and other amphibians are facing declines due to loss of breeding habitat. Tree Walkers International has launched Operation Frog Pond (OFP) to put the popularity of home water gardening to work for amphibian conservation.

The goal of OFP is to create high quality habitat for amphibians where they need it most by promoting the establishment of amphibian-friendly ornamental ponds and wetlands.

To help accomplish this, OFP offers small grants to schools, community groups, and neighborhood coalitions to aid in the purchase of materials and construction of amphibian-friendly ponds.  These projects not only provide much needed breeding habitat for area amphibians, but also become outdoor classrooms that allow students experiential learning opportunities.

For those who already have the means and materials to get started, our building guide (see right) provides the information necessary to create a habitat that will be conducive for a majority of species to use as a breeding pool.  Once built, feel free to send us images of the final project and we may include it in our gallery of OFP projects! 





Ways to Participate:

POND BUILDING GUIDE - Create your own frog pond using our guide for amphibian-friendly water features.

OFP GALLERY - From rural pastures to urban condo lots, check out the amazing habitats OFP participants have created for amphibians.

SCHOOLYARD POND PROGRAM - Whether you're a student, teacher or parent, apply for a grant and create an outdoor classroom at your school.

AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION ASSESSMENT - How are amphibians doing in your area? Check out this report to see which areas of the U.S. and Canada need the most help.

© Tim Paine

© Tim Paine

The purpose of the ACPF is to provide small grants to people, projects, and research involved in amphibian conservation.  We look for novel and needed ways in which people are actively working toward the conservation of amphibian populations.  Our grants are funded through the donations of TWI supporters, as well as our primary fundraiser MICROCOSM and events such as American Frog Day.

The financial amounts and number of grants awarded is determined by available funds and the merits of the proposals received.  Most grants are between $500-1,000.

Eligibility: Applicants must be affiliated with university's and/or non-profit organizations.

Evaluation Criteria: Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the potential of the project to contribute to the biological knowledge and conservation of amphibian species.  To apply for a TWI grant, please submit your proposal in Word or PDF format. Proposals should be no more than 2 pages in length and:

  1. Include a brief description of the project and its purpose.
  2. Explain how the project contributes to amphibian conservation. 
  3. Clearly outline the amount of money requested from TWI and how those funds would be used.

Proposals can be submitted to ron[at]treewalkers[dot]org.  Please title your file with the name of your project and include contact information somewhere in the proposal itself--this makes it easier for us to contact you regarding funding and/or further inquiries about your project should they arise during the review process, as well as to notify you about funding.

We are not currently accepting proposals.


Reserva Las Gralarias (Mindo, Ecuador): Five Frog Creek Headwaters Land Acquisition


Fundacion Otanga/El Centro Jambatu (Quito, Ecuador): Captive Ex Situ Breeding for Species of Centrolenidae: Centrolene buckley, Centrolene geckoideum and Hyalinobatrachium aureoguttatum

Roger Tory Peterson Institute (Jamestown, NY): Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) Survey in the French Creek Watershed of Western New York. (Blog post & photos)

Victora Zero (University of Wyoming): Effects of Ecosystem Engineering on Amphibian Diversity Across Wetland Stress Gradients (Blog post & photos)

Michael Gichia/Arabuko-Sokoke Forest (Rairu, Kenya): Determining the Ecology, Population Status, Distribution and Conservation of the Critically Endangered Yellow-Spotted Tree Frog (Leptopelis flacomaculatus) at the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest in Kenya.

Chilean Amphibian Conservation Center (Santiago, Chile): Establishing Assurance Populations for Several Critically Endangered Species of Chilean Amphibians. (Blog post & photos)


Molly C. Bletz & Dr. Reid N. Harris (James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA): Probiotic bioaugmentation of anti-chytrid bacteria to amphibians: transmission efficacy, persistence, and effects on non-target organisms and ecosystem processes


Atlanta Botanical Garden Department of Conservation Research (Atlanta, GA): Groundwater/Cave Salamander Research and Breeding Program

Association Mitsinjo (Andasibe, Madagascar): Ex-situ tadpole diet study


© Devin Edmonds

© Devin Edmonds

The purposes of the ASN are to:

  • Promote best care and management practices for captive amphibians and captive amphibian populations.
  • Reduce the risk of disease transmission between captive and wild populations of amphibians.
  • Improve upon existing husbandry/captive breeding techniques and develop new breeding and husbandry protocols using closely related (but less threatened) species where information is needed for highly threatened species.
  • Publish information in Leaf Litter Magazine, allowing the sharing of acquired information as well as to serve as an indefinite resource for future amphibian keepers and institutions.