The 2016 Connecticut State BioBlitz (3-4 June 2016) will be the largest BioBlitz event in the United States, out of more than 200 planned across the country to celebrate the centenary birthday of the National Park Service.
Location: Two Rivers Magnet School in East Hartford. Map:
Overall BioBlitz information: http://ctbioblitz.uconn.edu/
Below are top reasons why the Two Rivers Magnet School is the right destination for your friends and family on Saturday June 4th 2016:
1. Peruse a huge live insect zoo including giant beetles, praying mantes and caterpillars. The Caterpillar Lab will offer hands-on activities for kids – they can touch and hold the menagerie of harmless caterpillars.
2. Admire impressive museum specimens of butterflies and more – two of Connecticut’s most spectacular collections will be on display.
3. Explore a giant floor map of Connecticut and an assortment of other exhibits and activities. The event is family friendly with hands-on activities and crafts for kids.
4. Learn about the lives of northeastern birds of prey from Horizon Wings Raptor Rehab and about CT reptiles and amphibians from Riverside Reptiles – live animals will be present, including an eagle!
5. Ever wondered what science looks like in action? Interact with some of the 180+ participating scientists while they work towards identifying as many species as humanly possible within the 24hr window. Our scientists will represent all branches of the tree of life, and will be coming from 10 states and provinces. Connecticut will enjoy the greatest amassing of taxonomic expertise that has occurred in the State’s history.
6. Learn about eating insects from the world expert on the topic, Louis Sorkin – and try samples! Or learn about butterflies in your backyard from Victor DeMasi. Both presentations are part of our speaker series.
7. Go on a nature walk or a mini-safari with an expert to learn about birds, plants, mushrooms and insects that live near you. Accessible to all ages.
8. Learn about the thousands of microbes that live with, within, and around us through an interactive display. Our microbiology experts have collected samples from the Two Rivers school grounds, the Connecticut River, Mark Twain’s Park River, various types of compost, and other places. Using cutting-edge DNA methods they have determined how many microbe species live there. How many? We don’t know yet – it will be revealed at BioBlitz on Saturday.
9. Contribute your own observations to our scientific efforts via iNaturalist. Learn about iNaturalist from its creator Ken-Ichi Ueda, who will be giving a hands-on workshop at 11am. iNaturalist just might be your next favorite hobby.
10. Participate in a rapid stream bioassessment to find out how healthy the Hockanum River is.
11. Was there ever a connection between Hartford’s own Mark Twain and Charles Darwin? Find out at a presentation given by a Mark Twain House historian at 11am. And if you are lucky, you may bump into Charles Darwin himself!
12. Get half-priced family tickets to the Connecticut Science Center (just across the river from Two Rivers) for even more amazing displays and activities. Tickets available to the first 500 families to attend the BioBlitz. Shuttles will be running between the two venues.
13. Admire the findings of the State’s top mushroom experts from the CT Valley Mycological Society. You will be amazed at the diversity that can be found in urban and suburban areas!
14. Buy a book and get it signed by the author – at least nine authors will be selling and autographing copies of their field guides and other nature-inspired literature.
15. More than 20 additional exhibitors (whose underpinnings are rooted in the State’s plants and wildlife) will be assembled in the gymnasium for public visitation from 10am to 3pm.