Athens, Ga. – The State Botanical Garden of Georgia at the University of Georgia will host the 20th annual Insect-ival Family Festival Sept. 15 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Alice Hand Callaway Visitor Center and Conservatory. As part of the event, the fifth annual butterfly release will take place at 11 a.m. on the lawn of the International Garden.
Attendees can watch roach races, play games, ask questions, peer into a real beehive, taste a delicacy from the Insect Café, and gaze at specimens of butterflies and tropical insects. Children can complete a series of discovery station activities to receive a special insect prize.
The idea behind Insect-ival evolved from discussions between education staff at the Botanical Garden and faculty from UGA’s department of entomology and the Georgia Museum of Natural History who all shared a goal to do something fun and educational for the community. Murray Blum, a retired UGA entomologist, and his wife, Ann, helped in founding the festival, along with Anne Shenk, director of education at the Botanical Garden. Blum was quoted as saying, “Because some insects are pests, they all tend to get bad press. Insect-ival encourages a positive attitude toward insects by showing how fascinating, beneficial and necessary they are to the environment and to humans.”
Reflecting on the family festival during the last 20 years, Shenk said, “The first event was started as a idea and a dream, and it has grown to become an Athens staple event in the fall, combining the talents and resources multiple UGA departments and community groups. Insects are a wonderful hook into the world of nature, and Insect-ival helps us achieve our goal of helping children love nature before we ask them to help save it.”
Admission is $5 per person with a $20 maximum per family. Children under the age of two are free. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, call 706/542-6156 or see botgarden.uga.edu. The Botanical Garden, EarthShare of Georgia, the UGA Lund Club, the UGA department of entomology and the Georgia Museum of Natural History sponsor Insect-ival.
About the State Botanical Garden of Georgia
A Public Service and Outreach unit of the University of Georgia, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia provides the public as well as UGA faculty, staff and students opportunities for recreation, events, research and learning through its natural areas, display gardens and building spaces. For more information, see http://botgarden.uga.edu/.