The demonstrations will include Annual, Butterfly, Cottage, Herb, Native Plant, Perennial and Weed ID. Master gardeners will also be on hand to assist residents with how to identify both pesky and beneficial insects. They will also offer lessons on how insect predators, such as bats and birds, can help control insect populations and reduce the use of chemical pesticides.
Honeybee experts will also be on hand to explain the good that bees do for the environment. Children will be able to join in a bee waggle dance, the dance honeybees use to communicate with each other about the location of blooming flowers.
Attendees will once again be able to view tiny organisms through microscopes at the Bugs in Water activity.
There will also be an insect hunt on the paths that cut through the restored meadow. Children will be able to paint a mural of the meadow, see red wriggler worms making compost in a simple container that can be set up at home.
Events held in previous years, including butterfly births, Monarch butterfly tagging, bugs galore (insect inspection and handling), the insect puppet show, tattoos, crafts, hayrides, and Q & A with Mercer County Horticulturist Barbara J. Bromley, will continue.
Local environmental agencies will be on hand with experts and displays, including: Rutgers University Entomology faculty; Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Conserve Wildlife, NJ; Mercer County Soil Conservation; Mercer County Mosquito Control; NJ Department of Agriculture Beneficial Insect Rearing Laboratory; Mercer County 4H; Mercer County Equestrian Center; and the Naturalist from Mercer County Parks.
Admission is free and on-site parking will be available. The event will be held rain or shine.
The Master Gardeners is a volunteer outreach program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension that holds events throughout the county. They also answer horticulture questions through their Rutgers Master Gardener Helpline, (609) 989-6853, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., March through October, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., November through February. For more information on the organization’s educational programs and events, visit www.mgofmc.org.
Cooperating agencies in this event include Rutgers University; the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Mercer County Boards of Chosen Freeholders.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experimental Station, is an equal opportunity program provider and employer. Contact your local Extension Office for information regarding special needs or accommodations. Contact the State Extension Director's Office if you have concerns related to discrimination, 732-932-5000, ext. 584.