"Summer of Bugs" at Valley Forge

Valley Forge National Historical Park and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University are partnering in the Summer of Bugs, a summer-long inventory of the park's terrestrial invertebrates, better known as land bugs. Together, the park and the academy invite those interested in learning about and contributing to the research to act as "citizen scientists" by observing and participating in a 24-hour BioBlitz event and a summer-long invertebrate "photoblitz." Activities are available for "scientists" of all ages and experience levels.

What's a BioBlitz? Find the answer to this and other questions about the Summer of Bugs on the frequently asked questions flyer.

Unless noted, activities will take place in or outside of Base Camp. the park's Education Center, which is located next to the Visitor Center. To access Base Camp, park in the lower parking lot and follow the sidewalk around the Visitor Center to the Education Center. Directions to the park >>

Meet the Entomologists
August 23 from 12:00 p.m. –5:00 p.m.
August 24 from 9:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m.

Academy experts and amateur entomologists will begin their 24-hour field search for terrestrial invertebrates at noon on August 23. Researchers back at base camp (located in the Education Center) will catalog specimens and keep an ongoing count of species reported. Visitors of all ages are welcome to visit base camp to meet the entomologists and to enjoy the outdoor exploration stations on Saturday. Other activities have specific age and registration requirements.

Insect Exploration Station
August 23 from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Outside the Education Center, local organizations such as the Wildlands Conservancy and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will have displays on insect diversity, examples of insectivores (carnivores that feed on bugs), and other information and activities focusing on these amazing little creatures.

Go Take A Hike!
August 23 at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Not sure about field work but interested in seeing what bugs live in the park? Get up close and personal with insects during an easy, educational guided hike led by Academy experts. Be sure to bring your camera and add your observations to our Summer of Bugs PhotoBlitz on iNaturalist.org. Hikes will leave from base camp and may require a short drive to the trailhead. No registration required.

Daytime Field Work with the Researchers
August 23 from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
August 24 at 10:30 a.m.

Spend an hour in the field with professional bug researchers and help them collect samples. All ages are welcome;however children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Please be aware of personal limitations when signing up for field work. We will be walking varying distances over uneven terrain in hot and often full sun conditions. Field work may require a short drive to survey location.
Advanced registration is required. Please email or call Amy Ruhe, Valley Forge NHP Natural Resource Manager, at 610-783-1036.

Night Trapping with the Researchers
August 23 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Join entomologists as they search the night for nocturnal insects.
Advanced registration is required. Space is limited. Please email or call Amy Ruhe at 610-783-1036;amy_ruhe@nps.gov.
Details on what to bring and meeting location will be provided after you register.

Invertebrate PhotoBlitz with iNaturalist.org
Become a "citizen scientist" by documenting your invertebrate observations throughout the Summer of Bugs at iNaturalist.org, an online species database for naturalists of all skill levels to share their observations. Find the Valley Forge Summer of Bugs project online or download the iNaturalist app for quick uploads in the field. Entomologists at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will help identify citizen observations and add the records to the official Summer of Bugs inventory.

Learn some of the Do's and Dont's of photographing bugs and how to post your observations using the iNaturalist Quick Guide.

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