"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 two 24-hour BioBlitz events 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.
BioBlitz, August 23-24
Meet the Entomologists
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 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 bug festival on Saturday. Other activities have specific age requirements.
Insect Exploration Station
Under the new Education Pavilion, local organizations like the Wildlands Conservancy and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will have tabletop displays to educate visitors about bugs and insectivores (carnivores that feed on bugs), and trigger their curiosity for these amazing little creatures.
Daytime Field Work with the Researchers
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.
Advanced registration is required. Please email or call Amy Ruhe, Valley Forge NHP Biologist, at 610-783-1036.
Night Trapping with the Researchers
Advanced registration is required. Space is limited. Please email or call Amy Ruhe, Valley Forge NHP Biologist, at 610-783-1036. Details on what to bring and meeting location will be provided after you register.
Base Camp is in the park's Education Center, located in the building next to the Visitor Center. The Education Pavilion is located outside of the Education Center's entrance. Directions to the park.
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.
Did You Know?
Valley Forge was the third of the eight American winter encampments during the Revolutionary War. It is the best known of the eight, however, because it is remembered as the birthplace of the Continental Army.