by Betsy Natter

There’s lots of buzz about the Spotted Lantern Fly in Montgomery County and the danger it poses to area plants and trees. But do you know how to identify one? Do you know what to do to help rid the area of this non-native and harmful pest?

Learn how to help by attending the lecture, Combatting the Spotted Lanternfly on Sat., July 21 at 2 pm at Lower Perkiomen Valley Park. Sally Sue Richmond, Master Gardener and Senior Lecturer in Information Science at Penn State Great Valley in Malvern, PA will show how to identify the insect as well as share seasonal approaches to eradicating the invasive pest from your property.

Pre-registration is requested for the program which is best suited for those of high school age and up. Meet at the Main Pavilion. There is a $2 suggested donation per person. A second program will be held on Sat., September 29 at 2 pm to discuss actions to take during the fall season.

Lower Perkiomen Valley Park is located at 101 New Mill Rd. in Oaks, PA 19456. Contact the park at (610) 666-5371

Not all insects are harmful to our environment and in fact, many are beneficial and just plain fun to watch and even attract to your backyard. Check out these other workshops at our county parks on some of nature’s amazing creatures.

Norristown Farm Park
2500 Upper Farm Road
Norristown, PA 19403
(610) 270-0215

Honey BeesSun., July 22 at 2 pm

Meet the park’s resident beekeeper, Don George and learn about bee biology and the reasons for the decline in the honey bee population. Watch a living observation hive. Discover how beekeepers tend hives using a variety of equipment and learn what you can do at home to help bees thrive. Sample honey and purchase some to take home. Participants interested in learning more can sign up for a beginner’s course in beekeeping.

Pre-registration is required but the event is free. Designed for children ages 6 and up and adults. Meet in the Salt Wing next to the park office.

Ladybug BeetlesMon., August 6 at 9:30 am

Children ages 3 to 12 (accompanied by an adult) will enjoy learning about this friendly beetle and other insects associated with milkweed. Discover the many varieties of ladybugs and how they differ in both color and the number of spots. Learn about their life cycle and habitat. Younger children can make a ladybug craft after the outdoor activity. Pre-registration is required; meet at the pavilions. The cost is $5 per child.

Spiders: the Original Web DesignersWed., August 15 at 10 am

Spiders having been preying on other species for more than 350 million years.  Learn more about these predators that live almost anywhere, even in your basement. Participants will go on a spider search in our meadow and then younger children can make a spider craft. Pre-registration is required; meet at the pavilions. The program is designed for kids ages 3 to 12 who are accompanied by an adult. Cost is $5 per child.

Dragons and DamselsSun., August 26 at 10 am

Dragonflies and damselflies represent an ancient order of insects that have been on earth since before the dinosaurs. Learn about their life history, territorial behavior, and how to recognize individual species. Participants should bring an insect net and large plastic, see-through collection jar if you have them. Please pre-register for this free program. Meet in parking lot #3. Designed for adults and children ages 6 and over.

Green Lane Park
Program specific addresses below
Green Lane, PA 18054
(215) 234-4528

Bugs and Blooms Photography OutingSat., August 11 at 10 am

Late summer is the perfect time to search the fields for flowers and their insect visitors. Practice your photography skills, no matter what your level of experience. Along the way, Learn about the wildflowers and the insect helpers you are photographing. Meet at the Fly-fishing area on Church Road (1.2 miles east of Kutztown Road). Pre-registration required for this free workshop designed for ages 9 to adult.

Incredible InsectsSat., August 25 at 1 pm

Take a closer look at our 6-legged neighbors, the insects. Use provided nets and bug- magnifier boxes to capture and examine what you find in an “insect zoo” and then release everything you catch. Meet at the Tennis Courts (2298 Green Lane Road, Green Lane PA 18054). Pre-registration required for this free program designed for ages 5 to adult.

Upper Schuylkill Valley Park
1600 Black Rock Rd, Royersford, PA 19468
(610) 948-5170

Butterfly CelebrationSat., August 25 from 11 am to 1 pm

Celebrate the amazing little insect, the butterfly. This annual program will include information on tagging, feeding and raising butterflies. This year the park will be hosting local butterfly experts Dave and Audrey Harding from Marvelous Monarchs. There will be hands-on activities for the kids and much more. Weather permitting, participants will help release tagged monarchs at the end of the program so they can begin their migration south. All activities will be outdoors. This family friendly event has a $4 per person suggested donation.

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