Our mission and programming

“Nevada Bugs and Butterflies provides hands- on experiences with science and living things to cultivate love of the natural world and local environmental responsibility”

Pollinator garden at Rosewood Nature Study Area in Reno, NV

Vision: At Nevada Bugs & Butterflies, we envision a community where all members:

  • Appreciate the diversity and importance of insects and other living things;
  • Feel a strong connection to their local and regional landscapes;
  • Value the role of science in understanding the world around us;
  • Share a sense of responsibility for the future of their environment.

Volunteers learning to identify butterflies as part of our Nevada Butterfly Monitoring Network

Nevada Bugs & Butterflies provides core services in three key areas:

  1. Education

  • We are an educational resource about insects and pollinators for our community
  • We partner with other local natural history, conservation, and science education organizations
  • We engage the community on social media by posting educational information and relevant news stories and answering questions about insects, plants and habitats
  • We maintain a website where we post updates on our programming
  1. Science

  • We guide and support community scientists in the long-term monitoring of local insect diversity
  • We engage the community in important ecological monitoring activities such as monarch butterfly tagging and bio-blitzes
  • We connect active scientists to our programming, offering an opportunity for scientists to interface with the community and for the community to ask questions of scientists
  • We help monitor rare insect species in Nevada
  1. Stewardship

  • We suggest small actions people can take to support ecological sustainability and practice stewardship. We support these actions by providing supplies, knowledge and resources, such as pollinator seeds or bee house construction guides, and examples of native plants that can be incorporated into pollinator gardens that community members can recreate in their own yards


The Butterfly House (2013-2017)

Opened in July 2013, the butterfly house was located in Lemmon Valley, just north of Reno, Nevada. In addition to beautiful views of Peavine Mountain and Mt. Rose, this site has been managed for the past three years as a permaculture design, creating an ultra-diverse property that teems with plant and animal life in the summertime. This creates the perfect environment for people of all ages to learn about major concepts in biology, such as life cycles, species interactions, and ecosystem function.

Melissa blue (Lycaeides melissa) in the butterfly house

Melissa blue (Lycaeides melissa) in the butterfly house

Activities at the butterfly house include:

  • The mesh-enclosed house, featuring Nevadan butterflies and caterpillars, in addition to beautiful pollinator plants, fruits, and vegetables
  • Live insects to watch and hold
  • Site tours and science activities with biologists
  • Toys and costumes for creative, self-directed play
  • Surrounding organic garden with more opportunities for art, science, and nature viewing

We want peoples’ experiences at the butterfly house to bring them a renewed sense of place, connection with our natural resources, and a new love for insects.