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Contact: NPS: Stephanie Loeb, 610-783-1013
Contact: ANSP: Carolyn Belardo, 215-299-1043
Valley Forge, PA –Valley Forge National Historical Park and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University are partnering in the Summer of Bugs, a summerlong 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 BugBlitz on August 23-24. Activities are available for "scientists" of all ages and experience levels. Follow the park and entomologists from the Academy and share your discoveries by using the hashtag, #summerofbugs.
Earlier this year the park conducted its first 24-hour BugBlitz and identified over 400 different species of invertebrates. "We discovered quite a bit of bug diversity here in Valley Forge this spring," shared Amy Ruhe, Natural Resource Manager at Valley Forge NHP. "Conducting blitzes during two different seasons will provide the greatest opportunity to catalog the variety of species in the park and enable more volunteers to participate in the activities. We're looking forward to having greater public participation this time around. "
All events are free and open to the public. Select events require advanced registration and have recommended age and skill levels. All events will take place in or around the park's Visitor Center.
Meet the Entomologists
August 23 from 12:00 p.m. –5:00 p.m. and August 24 from 9:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m.
Academy experts and other 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 exploration stations on Saturday. Other activities have specific age and registration requirements.
Insect Exploration Stations
August 23 from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Outside of the Visitor Center, local organizations such as 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. and 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;email@example.com.
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;firstname.lastname@example.org. Details on what to bring and meeting location will be provided after you register.
For additional information, frequently asked questions, and directions, visit: https://www.nps.gov/vafo/naturescience/bioblitz.htm.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is a leading natural history museum dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science. Learn more about the Academy at www.ansp.org.
For more information about Valley Forge NHP, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/vafo or call
610-783-1099. Learn about the park's upcoming programs and special events on the Schedule of Events page on our website. Continue the conversation on the park's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ValleyForgeNHP and share your photos and experiences.
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