The 15th annual Insect Festival sponsored by the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County will be held Saturday, Sept. 9, at Mercer Educational Gardens, 431A Federal City Road, Hopewell Township. This year’s festival will be held at a new time, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is free and on-site parking is available.
This year’s theme, “Please Bug Me,” will feature a return of the Big Bug Band, in addition to educational opportunities for visitors of all ages. Bees, butterflies, bugs galore, bugs in water, games in the garden, and an insect hunt in the meadow and a Q&A with Barbara J. Bromley, Mercer County’s Horticulturist, highlight the many fun activities that will help visitors learn about the importance of insects in our lives. Local environmental agencies will also be present with their experts and displays, including Rutgers University Entomology faculty, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Mercer County Mosquito Control Commission, NJ Department of Agriculture Beneficial Insect Rearing Laboratory, Mercer County 4-H and Mercer County Equestrian Center. The Naturalist from the Mercer County Park Commission will also be present to lead insect-related activities.
Attendees are invited to view the seven demonstration gardens: Annual, Butterfly, Cottage, Herb, Native Plant, Perennial and Weed ID. Along the way, there will be activities that will entertain and teach children of all ages about the incredible and often beautiful insects common to the Northeast.
The Master Gardeners of Mercer County is a volunteer educational outreach program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Master Gardeners participate in many volunteer programs throughout the County, as well as answer home 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 this event and the organization’s educational programs and events, visit www.mgofmc.org.
Cooperating Agencies: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; U.S. Department of Agriculture, and 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, (848) 932-3584.