All posts by OlanderAdmin2

Frog or Toad?

Do you know the difference between a frog and a toad? 

You probably know that they are both amphibians. But what you may not know is that they are separate families of animals.

Here is another confusing fact: All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads, according to Penn State University. Basically, toad is a classification of frog. 

How about another fun fact: There’s no scientific distinction between a toad and a frog, according to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web.

Confused yet? Who could blame you? 


Check out this YouTube video from Snake Discovery to learn about the differences between frogs and toads:


Here is a cool article that was written by The Forest Preserve District of Will County about the differences between Frogs & Toads.

“In terms of scientific classification, both frogs and toads belong to the order Anura, which means “without a tail,” according to Penn State University. Within the order, Anura, are several families of animals, including Ranidae, which are referred to as true frogs, and Bufonidae, which are referred to as true toads. 

Not to confuse you even more. There are other families of frogs and toads that exist — for example, tree frogs are a different family of frogs than true frogs — but these are smaller groupings of species, and some are specific to certain regions of the world. 

While many frogs and toads look similar, there are some differences. For example, frogs typically have long, strong hind legs that aid them in leaping, while toads have shorter hind legs more suitable for walking than hopping, according to Wildlife Preservation Canada. The difference in their legs also leads to a behavioral difference when approached by humans. Frogs will usually use their long, strong legs to leap into the water when approached, while toads are more likely to sit still and wait it out. If toads do jump away, their jumps are shorter than frogs’. 

Another difference in their appearance is their eyes. Frogs usually have big, bulging eyes, while toads’ eyes are more subtle in appearance. 

One of the biggest physical differences between frogs and toads is their skin. While frogs have smooth or slimy skin that is moist, toads have thicker, bumpy skin that is usually dry. The differences in their skin are because of their typical environments. Frogs spend more time in the water or are usually very close to the water while on land, so their skin stays moist. Toads, on the other hand, spend more time on land and travel further from the water, Wildlife Preservation Canada reports. Unless you live very near water, you’re more likely to see toads in your yard because they travel farther from water.

A big difference between frogs and toads is that all toads are poisonous, while frogs are not. Toads have parotoid glands behind their eyes that secrete toxins. These toxins permeate their skin, so you can come into contact with them if you pick them up, according to the Conserve Wildlife Federation of New Jersey. Most of the toxins are mild to humans, but you should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling a toad.

Both frogs and toads lay their eggs in water, but you might be able to tell them apart by the egg arrangement. Frog eggs are usually one mass or cluster, while toad eggs are usually arranged in a chain.

And both frogs and toads are indicators of a healthy ecosystem, according to Wildlife Preservation Canada. They can’t live in polluted habitats and are sensitive to changes in their environment, so the presence of frogs or toads is a sign the habitat is healthy, while a sudden change in their presence can indicate the area has become polluted or is otherwise unbalanced.

Another similarity is that both frogs and toads are widespread across the world, although they don’t live everywhere. Frogs live on every continent except Antarctica, while toads live all across the world with the exception of the polar regions, Australia, Polynesia and Madagascar, according to Wildlife Preservation Canada.”

Website: – September 11, 2020

So the next time you see something hopping in your yard, you will know whether you spotted a Frog or a Toad!

Sunset Serenades Concerts are back at Olander Park!

The Sunset Serenades Summer Concert Series is an evening full of fun for the whole family! Concerts take place every Wednesday evening at Olander Park through September 1! Our summer concert series is sponsored by Buckeye Broadband.

This summer we welcome back some returning favorites plus some awesome groups making their debut at the park! Each week features a different genre of music – there is definitely something for everyone!

  • Wednesday, July 28: BLISS

  • Wednesday, August 4: Danny & John Acoustic

  • Wednesday, August 11: Sylvania Community Orchestra

  • Wednesday, August 18: SWINGMANIA!

  • Wednesday, August 25: Caveman & Ryan

  • Wednesday, September 1: Black Swamp Winds

PLUS…. Unfiltered – Toledo’s Premier Improv Troupe will be our opener again this year & Mayberry Ice Cream Cream on Wheels will be at most concerts serving up their yummy sweets! 🎭

Special thanks to Oakleaf Village of Toledo/Sylvania for providing free Light Refreshments for each concert.

Admission is FREE for Sylvania School District Residents, all others $3 per car parking fee.

Don’t forget your chairs or blankets! Concerts will take place in the grass between Open Air Shelter 1 & 2 on the west side of Olander Park. Folding chairs will not be provided. Picnic tables will be available in the shelters for use. Concerts may be moved to the Nederhouser Community Hall in case of rain. Details will be posted on our website and on social media.

Concert Schedule:

  • 6pm to 6:45pm: Find your perfect spot in the grass

  • 6:15pm: Unfiltered – Toledo’s Premier Improv Troupe opens the evening with belly laughs 

  • 6:30pm to 8:30pm – ish: Mayberry Ice Cream on Wheels will be serving up yummy ice cream treats for sale

  • 6:30pm to while supplies last: Oakleaf Village of Toledo/Sylvania will provide free Light Refreshments of popcorn and lemonade 

  • 7pm to 9pm: Band Headliner

Join the TOPS team! Now Hiring!

Join the TOPS team! We are hiring awesome people to join our team and make a difference in the community.

Our open positions might be perfect for you if you can check off these boxes:

✅ You love or want to work outdoors in a beautiful park setting

✅ You are a team player

✅ You take pride in your work

✅ You want to make an impact in the community

Administrative Coordinator:

  • Status: Part-time

  • Salary Range: $15 to $20 per hour

  • Description: Under the general supervision of the Executive Director, this position supports TOPS by performing administrative duties, processing invoices, and tracking income.

Park Technician:

  • Status: Seasonal

  • Salary Range: $10 per hour

  • Description: Under the supervision of the Facility Manager, this position provides a clean, enjoyable environment for all patrons and to maintain the grounds and facilities.

Horticulture Assistant:

  • Status: Seasonal

  • Salary Range: $10 per hour

  • Description: Duties involve landscaping, grounds maintenance, bed preparation, planting, fertilizing, weeding, and watering. Basic plant and pests identification skills and greenhouse experience preferred.


  • Status: Seasonal

  • Salary Range: $10 per hour

  • Description: Dive into your next job and make a difference! Earn money, be a leader, save lives! Responsible for the care and safety of Lake Olander Swim & Beach patrons.

Flexible Schedule: TOPS is willing to work with employees on scheduling to accommodate personal schedules, other employment schedules, or other potential conflicts, within certain parameters.

Discounts: TOPS staff receive discounts on facility rental, free admission to the swim beach, free boat rental, free admission to internal programs, and half-price admission to contracted programming.




The Swim Beach is Open!

Summer has started with a bang! Temps have been a little all over the place, but we are gearing up for high 80s this coming weekend. With school wrapped up, the season has officially started!

We are so excited to open our beach with no restrictions this year and also some exciting updates! You won’t want to miss the 3 new large inflatable raft toys –  the Aquaglide Walk on Water, the RAVE Iceberg, and Rolling Log Double Raft.

Swimmers and sun-worshipers can hit the natural sand beach Wednesdays through Sundays from Noon to 6pm, weather permitting. Admission is $3 for TOPS residents and $5 for all others, with kids 2 & under free.

TOPS memberships are for those who can’t get enough of the sun and water. Enjoy half-price admission (individual membership) or even free admission for 5 members of your family with our Family Membership. Check out the details at

Bike Month 2021

May is bike month, and what better time to take advantage of our area’s bike trails! Olander Park & the Quarry Ridge Bike Trail, that connects Sylvan Prairie Park and Fossil Park, are wonderful, easy trails perfect for the whole family. Check out the map of the trail below.

Looking to bike around Sylvania?

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments – Bike Events

Bicycles are soaring in popularity and families are eager to learn where and how they can ride safely. In May, TMACOG (Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments) supports recreational bicycle riders and works to encourage the use of bikes for commuting and errands. You can participate in their Bike Trail Challenge and get all kinds of awesome rewards! Plus, May 21 is Bike to Work Day! Check out these links for more information!

​Other events in May

Ride of Silence: May 17, 6:45pm ~ This annual ride remembers those injured or killed while cycling on the public roadways. This is a joint event for NW Ohio including Toledo, Bowling Green and Findlay with guest speakers from each city. After a short livecast, please take a solo ride or small group with adherence to COVID guidelines, to complete our 2021 Ride of Silence! More info can be found at



Blue Week 2021

Blue Week is Here!

May is one of our busier months here at TOPS. Getting ready for summer, training new staff, making the parks look great, welcoming many more visitors, all keep us on our toes. That makes it easy to overlook one very exciting week: Blue Week!!

What’s that, you say? Blue Week, annually the second week in May, is when we take time out to celebrate the amazing and rare ecosystem we live in, the Oak Openings Region! Is the soil in your yard sandy? There’s a good chance you are part of the Oak Openings Region!

This globally rare habitat is home to the most endangered species in Ohio. Yes, I said GLOBALLY rare! The Nature Conservancy considers it one of the  “200 Last Great Places On Earth.” This week is a great time to learn and explore this amazing ecosystem in our backyards!

The full schedule of events can be found here: 

Plus, TOPS has some fun virtual activities for you at

Take a hike or attend a virtual event to find out more about the area. Bats, birds, and biking are all topics covered. Find out about the beautiful flowers that grow here, and how you can use them in your garden! 

Take some time out this week, as the weather improves, to get to know where you live a little bit better. We can’t wait to see you and spend some time in this amazing place we live. 

American Woodcocks

American Woodcocks at Sylvan Prairie Park

This past month has been a great time to hear and see American Woodcocks at Sylvan Prairie Park. Woodcocks are well known for their spectacular courtship display. On spring nights, males perform very conspicuous displays, giving a buzzy “peent” call, then launching into the air. Their erratic display flight includes a distinctive, twittering flight sound and ends with a steep dive back to the ground. Have you seen or heard this magical event?

American Woodcocks are plump, short-legged shorebirds with very long, straight bills. They are about the same size as a robin. Their light brown, black, buff, and gray-brown mottled feather patterns help them blend in well with their surroundings. You can find them hidden in fields and on the forest floor, where they probe for earthworms. The variety of nicknames for this bird are entertaining and reflect their preferred habitat and their courtship behavior. They include: the timberdoodle, the bogsucker, the hokumpoke, and the Labrador twister, night partridge, big-eye, and mudbat.

Woodcocks migrate back and forth between northern breeding areas and southern wintering grounds. In spring and summer, they breed in the North, from Atlantic Canada west to the Great Lakes area. In autumn they fly to lowlands from the Carolinas west to eastern Texas, with the greatest concentration of birds wintering in Louisiana and Mississippi. Woodcock migrate north again in February, March, and April, homing to the same areas where they were hatched.

Check out these links to learn more about the American Woodcock


Check out the diagram below showing the courtship flight of the American Woodcock. 

Watch a YouTube video of the American Woodcock courtship display:

Native Plants

The TOPS Blog is BACK! After four long years, we are back to share with you some educational, fun, and informative topics provided by TOPS staff and our community partners. We can’t think of a better first topic than Native Plants from TOPS Executive Director, Erika Buri.


Getting Ready for Spring with Native Plants

Now is the perfect time to talk about native plant gardening. While April is Native Plant Month, May is the best time to put things in the ground. It’s also when the most native plants are available to purchase in our region. 

So take the next few weeks to think about what you want out of your native garden. Make a list. Are you attracting pollinators? Do you want to reduce your lawn? Do you want to add natives to your cultivated perennial garden? Do you want to create a rain garden? 

Just like the plants you pick up at the local garden center, native plants have physical attributes that will impact your garden design. What do you want your garden to look like? Will it be more formal or wild and woolly? Do you want seasonal color? How tall do you want the plants to get? 

Finally, you need to consider your soil conditions, sunlight and garden size. These aspects help further narrow down your options. Like all plants, natives have specific soil, moisture and sunlight needs. The size of your garden and what style you decide on will determine how many plants you need. 

With some planning and a little research, you will have all the tools you need for a successful and beautiful native plant garden. Take before, during, and after photos to document your progress. Share them with us and show us what you’ve accomplished!

TOPS partnered with the Toledo-Lucas County Library to create a video about pollinators and native plant gardening last spring. Native plant installation guidelines start at minute 5:25. 

Check it out here: 


Other great resources for native plant gardening in northwest Ohio can be found here:


Native plant sales happen throughout the community in May. Here is information on what’s coming in 2021:

Lucas County Soil and Water District

  • Orders prepaid by May 17, 2021

  • This event takes place annually

  • Keep an eye out for their March plant sale in 2022


Oak Openings Blue Week Plant Sale (hosted by Wild Ones Oak Openings Chapter)

  • Opens May 1, 2021 for online ordering, pay attention to pick up instructions

  • This sale takes place every May, usually during the second week

  • All proceeds go to Oak Openings Green Ribbon Initiative


Friends of Wood County Parks: Plant sale cancelled for 2021

  • Check back in 2022, usually happens the weekend before Mother’s Day


Plants available year-round:

Poppin’ Up Natives ~

  • They are hosting a spring plant sale on May 15 & 16. Check their Facebook page for details.

Toledo Zoological Society: