Bernheim’s BUG-A-PALOOZA

By Wren Smith

Insects and their relatives may be small, but their importance looms large. BUGA-PALOOZA allowed us to investigate and celebrate the big role of these tiny creatures. Thanks to the amazing work of our Volunteer Naturalists, community partners such as Idlewild Butterfly Farm and Insectarium, My Big Little Adventure, Kevin Wiener from the All Bugs Go To Kevin Facebook group, and so many other volunteers, our first hybrid (in-person and virtual) event was a success.

The festival included bug-related programs throughout the week. We offered virtual presentations from local and national experts on native bees who discussed the creation of habitats to enhance biodiversity. We also heard from an outstanding panel of artists whose work is inspired by insects and their relatives, thanks to Arts in Nature Curator Jenny Zeller. Bernheim’s blog featured a daily bug spotlight by Nature-based Educator Olivia Belk. The fun was capped off by Bernheim’s Volunteer Naturalists, who created outstanding short video interviews with various insects.

In-person programming included a Buggy Bio Blitz led by Volunteer Naturalist Doug Wilson, a bug-themed concert with Youth and Family Program Manager Dan Pascucci, and Insect Safaris and Monarch Tagging led by Research Coordinator Kelly Vowels.

We concluded the week with a scaled-down version of our past Bugfests featuring Discovery Stations led by Volunteer Naturalists, a Spider Tent, Insect Zoo, Insect Safaris, and bug-inspired mural creations under the guidance of artists JoAnne Price and Becky Sharp.

If you missed the fun, find all the virtual content at

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