Nevada Bugs awarded a Helen Close Charitable Foundation Grant!

We are proud to announce that Nevada Bugs and Butterflies was chosen as a grant recipient of the Helen Close Charitable Foundation, located right in Reno, Nevada! Their generosity will go directly towards quality hands-on science education for youth and families at our outdoor science center and at outreach events throughout 2015. As always, our science center and butterfly house are free to the public and all groups, and contributions from individual donations and grants continue to make our work possible. We are so thankful for the support of the Helen Close Charitable Foundation, and look forward to sharing the wonders of insects with local families throughout the year!

Butterfly house update; closed on July 4

Wow, time flies! We had an amazing first week on June 18, and we have been so happy to see many returning families and meet many new ones as well during our first few open days. The butterfly house and garden are looking awesome, so please do come and see us sometime soon! Just as a reminder, we are closed on July 4th but are otherwise open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10am – 3pm until Sept. 19th. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a group tour; as always families are welcome anytime during our open hours. See you soon!

Buckeye, Junonia ceonia

Buckeye, Junonia ceonia

Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui

Fritillary, Speyeria sp.

Fritillary, Speyeria sp.

 

Opening day approaches, and National Pollinator Week 2015

It’s been a bit since our last post, but it’s only because of all the good things happening– Cynthia, Kevin, and all our board members and volunteers are busy preparing for our 2015 opening day on June 18th! New signs and interactive activities are being made, the butterfly house is being readied, and we have many cute caterpillars in the lab, growing and pupating and getting ready to show off for everyone in less than two weeks. (Side note: if you’re interested in a group visit to the butterfly house, please email Kevin as summer days are filling up fast already!)

In addition to our opening day on the 18th, this next week starting June 15th marks the beginning of National Pollinator Week, and there are several great events in Reno celebrating the amazing work that native pollinators do for us every day. On Saturday, June 13th from 1-4, Urban Roots will be hosting a pollinator fair including hands-on activities, pollinator-product tasting stations, and a Spelling Bee, as well as info sessions on native pollinators and how to attract them. Then, on Wednesday, June 17th from 10am-1pm there’s a pollinator celebration at the south end of the UNR Campus, right outside the Natural History Museum on our brand new pollinator garden, installed with the help of the great folks at the Nevada office for the Fish & Wildlife Service. There will be garden tours, native bee and butterfly specimens, a caterpillar and beetle petting zoo, poster and plant giveaways, native bee house making, and more. Both events are free and are a great chance to learn how to support the thousands of native pollinators in the Great Basin. Hope to see many of you at one of these events, and then at our opening day on June 18th!

Pollinator Fair Flyer2

Urban Roots event, June 13th

UNR pollinator flyer 2015

UNR event, June 17th

 

FREE native plant course– attract pollinators to your yard!

Update: We’ve filled our course! Thanks for all those who are interested. Given the number of requests we received, we will almost certainly offer another course later in the year, so keep an eye out as the season progresses.

We are proud to announce a free native plant course taking place out at our butterfly house on May 17th 1-4pm, created as a partnership between Nevada Bugs, the US Fish & Wildlife Schoolyard Habitat program, and RT Permaculture. The topic of this course will be using plants native to Nevada to attract the many different types of beneficial insects that are in our area. Topics will include plant choice and planting techniques that will maximize your site’s usefulness to native insects, an introduction to native insect identification and conservation, and a special highlight on monarch butterfly conservation. Our site owner, Neil, will also lead a tour of his 1-acre permaculture garden, which has many great examples of how to use native plants to attract beneficial insects. In addition, you’ll go home with a set of native plants to plant at your home– for free!

Native insects have several important functions for natural areas and your own back yard– pollination of many crops, control of pest insects, and nutrient cycling to name a few. Many native insect species, like our native bumblebees, are threatened by habitat loss as well as habitat fragmentation, where each habitat patch becomes smaller and less connected to other patches. Increasing pollinator-friendly plants and creating habitat for insects are the best ways to conserve the native species that help make our landscape productive, diverse, and unique. Native plants will also use less water, remain hardier, and be more pest and disease-resistant than many nonnative plants.

The course size is limited, so email Kevin to reserve your spot and help make a difference in conserving our native plants and pollinators! pollinator plant wksp flier

2015 Permaculture Design Class- with pollinators!

Even though the butterfly house is hibernating for the winter, we are  excited to teach the public about invertebrates and their importance in our landscape all year long. This year, our friends at RT Permaculture (Neil Bertrando, our site owner) and Urban Roots Garden Classroom have partnered to teach an all-year Permaculture Design Certification in Reno. This course is a introduction to the principles and application of permaculture, which integrates geography, agriculture, forestry, soils, ecology, architecture, hydrology, animal husbandry, and more to facilitate the design of resource producing ecosystems. One of our design goals is to meet human needs while improving ecosystem health. Permaculture design can be applied at any scale and in any context: commercial or home scale, in wet or dry climates, you name it.  The outcomes in each case will be different, but the whole systems design approach is the same.

In addition to Neil’s excellent instruction, there will be two guest instructors, one of which is Nevada Bugs’ own Kevin Burls! He’ll be teaching classes on April 23rd and 25th dealing with ecological communities, focusing on the role of pollinators for nutrient cycling, food webs, and permaculture applications. In addition to Kevin, Kyle Chandler-Isacksen will also be guest teaching. Kyle is an urban homesteading innovator and natural builder extraordinaire.  He and his family run the local Be The Change project, a community-building urban homestead.

The full schedule for the course is shown below. Though the design certificate requires taking all the classes throughout the year, you don’t have to take the full course to take the classes that interest you the most. In fact, you can get a discount over the listed price by purchasing a discount card worth 25% off for taking a subset of courses of your choice. Read all the details on Urban Roots’ website.

 

Thank you for another amazing year!

East Humboldt mountains, Nevada, November 23rd, 2014

East Humboldt mountains, Nevada, November 23rd, 2014

On behalf of Nevada Bugs and Butterflies, Cynthia and Kevin, and our board of directors, we’d like to wish all our visitors, volunteers, and donors happy holidays and offer a heartfelt thank you for all your support throughout 2014! Thanks to your generosity, we sold 141 t-shirts during our recent fundraiser, raising a total of $1488 and putting a fantastic finish on an already amazing year. We are proud to use this money to provide hands-on experiences with science and living things throughout the year, and we are excited to meet many new families in 2015.

Celebrating Nevada’s diversity in 2014

Nokomis fritillary

Nokomis fritillary

Tessie and Watson, our Mohave desert tortoises

Tessie and Watson, our Mohave desert tortoises

Happy visitors!

Happy visitors!

Juba skipper

Juba skipper

If you didn’t get a chance to donate by purchasing a t-shirt, it’s not too late to make your end of the year contribution. It’s now easier than ever to donate- you can donate securely online using PayPal directly from the Support Us page of our website. Checks can also be mailed to: Nevada Bugs and Butterflies, PO Box 21484, Reno, NV 89515. We received our 501(c)3 federal non-profit status in October, meaning your donations are tax-deductible. Your financial support continues to be the heart of our success at the butterfly house, and we encourage you to help us extend our reach in the coming year with your donation.

See you in the summertime!

See you in the summertime!

T-shirts for everyone!

Each time we set out a fundraising goal, we are surprised by the generosity of our amazing supporters, and this time was no exception. In just over two weeks we sold 141 of our logo t-shirts and received numerous additional donations, raising a total of $1488! We are grateful to supporters both new and old, and can’t wait to see all those shirts around town in 2015. The money raised from this will go directly into funding the daily operation of the butterfly house next summer. These expenses include everything from supplies to care for our butterflies and create interactive activities at the butterfly house, to insurance and printing costs for our butterfly guides.

During the fundraiser, we had a lot of fun dressing up some different characters in Nevada Bugs t-shirts, and we put these up on Facebook. But, for posterity, we thought we’d put a few of them up here too. Thank you again, and enjoy!

Stand out from the flock!

Stand out from the flock!

Or stand out from the herd! (We were feeling punny)

Or stand out from the herd! (We were feeling punny)

Our shirts go well with mountains!

Our shirts go well with mountains!

Our friend Bertram posed as an entomologist

Our friend Bertram posed as an entomologist

 

Nevada Bugs t-shirt fundraiser!

2014 was a big success for Nevada Bugs & Butterflies: in one season alone we quadrupled the number of visitors to the Butterfly House & Science Center! Besides welcoming 884 visitors to the butterfly house, we also connected with 2,814 budding scientists who joined us at outreach events held in local schools, libraries, and museums. We’re asking for your support as we extend our reach even further with our end-of-the-year fundraiser. Help us prepare for 2015 by purchasing your own Bugs and Butterflies t-shirt! Shirts are American Apparel and are available in men’s, women’s, children’s, and toddlers’ sizes. They make great gifts and will be delivered in time for the holidays!

For adult men and women, go here: http://www.booster.com/nevadabugs_grown-up

For children and toddlers, go here: http://www.booster.com/nevadabugs_kids

Because of logo scaling issues, adult and children’s t-shirts are being sold through two different campaigns.

Sure, the butterflies won’t fly again until springtime, but our plans take wing over the winter, when we focus on developing new programming, researching curriculum, training volunteers, and securing supplies for the summer to come. Additionally, outreach in classrooms and community centers continues through the winter months. Your donations allow Nevada Bugs to provide hands-on experiences with Northern Nevada’s native insects all year long!

Sale ends December 5th; get your shirt before it's too late!

Sale ends December 5th; get your shirt before it’s too late!

 

Move viewing- Microcosmos- November 18th

Come join us for a beautiful, artistic look at insects! We’ll be visiting our friends at Artemisia MovieHouse, Reno’s alternative for independent, foreign, and classic films, as they show the 1996 French art documentary Microcosmos! This film is a fascinating and beautiful look at insect life using extreme close-ups, slow-motion and time-lapse photography. The film is a winner of 9 awards including Technical Grand Prize at Cannes. The film will be shown Tuesday, November 18th @ 7pm, at the Good Luck MacBeth theatre, 713 S. Virginia St. Admission is $7/$5 for Artemisia members, bicyclists, and students. We’ll have our bugs to hang out with and hold after the show. Hope to see lots of people there!

Directed by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou

Directed by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou

Animal Ark Stampede 5K Saturday, Oct 11th

Even though the butterfly house has closed for the season, Nevada Bugs is active all year round, and we love to support other Reno area causes. That’s why we’re excited to hang out this Saturday, October 11th, at the 2nd Annual Animal Ark Stampede 5K. We’ll be there with a few live bugs and generally supporting Animal Ark and the hundreds of runners. The course takes participants through the Animal Ark wildlife sanctuary and around the beautiful surrounding hills, and there is also a kids’ fun run. Course details can be found on their website– late registration is only $40! We hope to see you there!

Animal Ark Summer