Interesting insects the focus at Bug Jamboree

The Ellis Bird Farm hosted its annual Bug Jamboree on Saturday Aug. 11. People came from around the county to learn more about the farm and the different insects and spiders that live there. (Lisa Berg)

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No one could better appreciate all there is about insects better than entomologists and children. Last weekend, the two groups came together to share their fascination at the annual Bug Jamboree.

Of course, people of all ages joined to learn about the necessary role insects play in the ecosystem, explained Myrna Pearman, the site services manager at Ellis Bird Farm.

“The Bug Jamboree is very popular and people return year after year. I would say up to 500 people in one day. It’s a wonderful way for people to learn about the important role that insects play in keeping the earth healthy,” Pearman said.

The family-focused event brings in experts to show the interesting aspects of local insects and spiders. Various stations provide event-goers the chance to move around freely, taking in all the information and joining in on any of the crafts or hands-on activities.

The stations ran during the afternoon and were followed by a butterfly camp where groups divided up with nets and took note of what they caught, contributing to the Alberta butterfly count.

Experts from the area return annually to share their knowledge with attendees. New this year was the live insect collection of moths and caterpillars from Dr. David Lawrie, a former instructor from the University of Alberta.

“It is just a wonderful day for people to engage with nature. It’s very heartening to see how many families in Central Alberta are keen enough about nature and teaching their children about nature that they come out to attend this event … and be informed and inspired,” Pearman said.

The next scheduled event is Bat Night at the Bird Farm on Aug. 17 where there will be crafts, games and a scheduled bat walk with Cory Olson. Admission is $10 for a family. More information can be found on the Ellis Bird Farm website.