2018 Science Center update

After five successful years at our Lemmon Valley site, the Nevada Bugs and Butterflies Science Center and Butterfly house will be temporarily closed this summer as we work to find a larger, permanent home. While we are sad not to welcome everyone to the butterfly this summer, we look forward to welcoming you to a new future site, where we will bring visitors a renewed sense of place, connection with our natural resources, and a new love for insects for many years to come. Read more below:

To all our supporters,

Believe it or not, it has been over five years since Nevada Bugs & Butterflies opened our seasonal science center and butterfly house in Lemmon Valley. We were lucky enough to partner with Neil Bertrando and his wife Katie, who kindly opened their property to us for our summer programs. Since 2012 we have grown from just over 200 visitors in our first season to over 2,000 visitors in each of our last two summers. We have met thousands of families and hosted many school groups, giving them the chance to interact with our state’s amazing native plants and animals and learn about native insect biology, ecology, and conservation. Along with all our visitors, we’ve also gotten to see Neil’s garden grow from small seedlings fresh in the soil to a diverse landscape of native plants and food crops, with elderberry shrubs well over 10 feet tall and seaberry trees bursting with bright orange fruits.

Our initial agreement with Neil and Katie was always a five-year agreement —  a chance to get our feet on the ground. As you might imagine, our growth in popularity over the last five years has also put its own strain on the site, and we have not been able to expand our programming as much as we would like. Knowing all of this, our organization has been in the planning stages of expanding to a new location for some time, and we are working to find a new, permanent site for our science center, butterfly house, and other summer programs. The pull of managing the science center and butterfly house each season is strong, and often keeps us too busy to devote the time to this much-needed development. In order to dedicate the energy and time needed to find a home we can grow into, we will not be opening our science center and butterfly house this season.

This doesn’t mean Nevada Bugs & Butterflies won’t be around this summer! We have a number of activities already planned, and lots more in the works. Here is a list of just some of our upcoming events:

  • April 28 and May 6: Nevada Butterfly Monitoring Network Trainings. This program contributes long-term butterfly monitoring data to a national database. We’re in our third year and are looking to expand our sites and volunteer base.
  • May 3, May 10 and May 17: We are partnering with the Fish & Wildlife Service and UNR’s  Museum of Natural History for a series of pollinator talks at the Great Basin Taps & Tanks location in the evening.
  • May 5, 10:00-4:00: Our annual National Pollinator Week event, which  is combined with the University of Nevada’s Day at the Museum.
  • May 11: We’ll be joining the Spring Wings Festival in Fallon, at E.C. Best Elementary from 3:30-5:30.
  • May 20: As part of River Month with Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, we will be doing a bug walk at the Oxbow Nature Center from 1-3pm.
  • We’ll be at a variety of public events like Celebrate Washoe Valley at Washoe Valley State Park on May 19th, 10:00-2:00.

There are other events still being planned, such as an event for National Moth Week and a series of other insect identification walks. Please check back on our website and facebook pages for more updates.

We know many of you will be disappointed about not having the butterfly house this summer- it is certainly bittersweet for all of us as well. But we are extremely excited to begin this next phase in our organization’s growth, and we hope you are too. We’ll be sending out updates as we continue this process, and we will need your help to make our effort successful. We’ll be sending out surveys for your ideas and suggestions  and we can’t wait to see what our future home has to offer to the northern Nevada community. We hope to see you at some of our events this summer and that your 2018 is filled with bugs and butterflies!

–Kevin, Cynthia, and the NBB Board of Directors