Community Outreach

Bug Fest

Bug Fest 2014 logo

When: Saturday, June 27th; 10:00AM - 3:00 PM

Where: Hilltop Garden & Nature Center 2367 E. 10th St. on the campus of Indiana University, Bloomington.

What:  Bug Fest is a celebration of insects and their relatives.  Designed for children of all ages, from 1 to 101, the mission of Bug Fest is to educate the public about insect and spider biology. Guest lecturers will share their knowledge of dragonflies, butterflies, spiders, and other topics, plus there will be information tables on a variety of subjects, including pollinators, garden insects, forest pests, public health, and live insect displays. Activities will include insect crafts, mealworm races, cricket spitting, insect games, story telling, and more! A display of student art with an insect theme is also planned. Free Admission!

Who: Scheduled speakers include Dr. Leslie Bishop, Earlham College (spiders); Dr. Peter Scott, Indiana State University (pollinators); Sandy Belth, Monroe County Parks and Recreation (Monarch butterflies); Tom Swinford, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Nature Prserves (dragonflies), and more to be added soon!

Cost: Free! However, a donation of canned fruits or vegetables to go to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank and Mother Hubbard's Cupboard would be greatly appreciated. The flowers of many of our fruits and vegetables are pollinated by insects, so these foods would not exist without the aid of insects. Donation bins will be available at the entrance to Bug Fest.

For more information: Contact the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service at 812-349-2575.

Bug Fest is a collaboration of Monroe County Parks & Recreation, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, Hilltop Garden & Nature Center, Sycamore Land Trust, Sassafras Audubon Society, The WonderLab Museum, and the Purdue University Extension Office.


Remember, most of our fruits and vegetables are pollinated by insects! 

Speaker Schedule:

Time Topic Details
10:30 – 11:15

Dr. Leslie Bishop,

The Fascinating World of Spiders

An introduction to the fascinating world of spiders and their vital role in nature. Dr. Bishop will focus on the interesting diversity and unique life styles of spiders that live right here in Indiana.
11:30 - 12:15

Tom Swinford,


Ferocious predators and powerful fliers, dragonflies have changed little over millions of years. DNR expert Tom Swinford will show you how to identify dragonflies, and describe their unique stream and wetland haunts. He will also provide an overview of dragonfly biology and conservation.
12:30 – 1:15

Sandy Belth,


Learn about the life cycle, biology, and physiology of the Monarch butterfly and its amazing migration. 

Learn why the migration is an “Endangered Phenomenon” and what you can do to help bring them back.
1:30 – 2:15

Dr. Peter Scott,


An introduction to our native bees and their flower-visiting habits.

Event Patio Tent

10:30 – 11:00

Sandy and Jeff Belth

Insect Safari

Try your hand with an insect net on this informal walk looking for insects.
11:15 – 11:45

Joe Lee

Flea Circus

An imaginary journey into the world of fleas for children of all ages.
12:00 – 12:45

Stephanie Holman & Ginny Richey

Stories on Six Legs

Stephanie Holman and Ginny Richey of the Monroe County Public Library and Bloomington Storytellers Guild will entertain children with insect-themed stories.
1:00 – 1:30

Joe Lee

Flea Circus

An imaginary journey into the world of fleas for children of all ages.
1:45 – 2:30

Reni Winter

Monarch Way Stations

Reni Winter, owner of Winterhaven Wildflowers and Native Plant Preserve will show you how to create a Monarch Way Station on your property to benefit the Monarch butterfly.
2:45 Cricket Spitting Contest on lawn near exit