Bugs at Bryan Park Nature Center | Community Idea Stations


Bugs at Bryan Park Nature Center

Entomologist Dr. Art Evans and WCVE producer Steve Clark offer up a "sneak peak” to Art’s talk, Bringing Bugs Home, at the Joseph Bryan Park Nature Center on Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. The talk is free, but registration is required. Please register at bryanparknaturecenter@gmail.com or text 804-221-5064 as seating is limited. The Friends of Bryan Park program is free and signs to the Nature Center will be posted in the park. For more information, check out the Friends of Bryan Park Facebook page.

How to get there? Park at Shelter 1 located in Joseph Bryan Park. With the Shelter on your immediate right, walk down the hill. On your left you will come to a bridge that goes over Jordan’s Branch. Cross the bridge and walk up the hill to the Jospeh Bryan Park Nature Center.


SC: I'm Steve Clark with Dr. Art Evans, entomologist, and this is What’s Bugging You. You generally hear Art Evans on the radio, but you have a rare opportunity to hear him on the, on March 10th out at Bryan Park. I've been asked not to attend because of the heckling factor, but I think you'll enjoy yourself if you go out for his talk.

AE: Well, I appreciate you sticking to that agreement too. (laughing) Hey, it's not that rare. I get out there. I'll be out at the Nature Center at Bryan Park, and I'll be giving a lecture called Bringing Bugs Home . We'll take a look at some of the more charismatic members of Virginia's insect fauna - fireflies, eastern tiger swallowtail, my old favorite, the eastern Hercules beetle. We'll delve a little bit too into the importance of insects in terms of the products and services they provide, their scientific value, some of the essential functions that they perform in the ecosystem. And then we're going to touch a little bit on the insect apocalypse that we've been hearing about so much in the news, and what the latest is there and what some of the reasons might be for the decline of some insect populations. And then we'll shift into our fragmented landscape. This is a key to what's happening with all wildlife here in Virginia, the loss of connectivity with managed lands, think national parks, state parks, that sort of thing. And then look at possibilities of things that we can do at home to try and mitigate this loss of connectivity by establishing landscape corridors and patches in the form of native plant gardens. Then I thought we would delve into our favorite mantra here, “Lose the Lawn, Leave the Leaves.” The best way to encourage pollinators of all stripes is to go native. Plant native plants when you're landscaping your garden. And if you were a little shy about going native, start with a little patch here, just a little strip there along the wall or along the driveway and then build over time. Be Smart. Let's not focus on just European honeybees. Let's look at the plethora of native bees that we have in the area. In other words, we're going to talk about gardening for all kinds of insects to support wildlife. Then I'll talk about some of my experiences in doing these very things at home in my garden. This program is free, but seating is limited, and registration is required. You can find all the details on the What’s Bugging You archive page. I hope to see you there.

SC: Are you going to talk for longer than three and a half minutes?

AE: (laughing) Yes, I promised it would go a little bit longer than that.

SC: Well look, before we get away from here, why did you pick Bryan Park?

AE: (laughing) Well, Bryan Park picked me. I've always wanted to visit the Nature Center, so it's a great venue. But Bryan Park has always had a special place in my life ever since I moved to Richmond. I used to walk over there with my dog and my camera and take photographs. The insect life over there is fantastic. Maybe not so this month, but in the coming months it's well worth visiting to see all the different insects. And so, you know, this isn't the only talk I'm giving this month. Have you heard about the Hollar exhibit . . .

SC: I have.

AE: . . . at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts?

SC: I have, and I'm looking forward to this.

AE: Well, I will be there talking about the insects in that exhibit on Friday, March 22nd, and we'll talk more about that next week.

SC: Dr. Art Evans is a Research Associate at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. You’ll find photos, audio, and links to the museum and Art’s Facebook page at ideastations.org/radio/bugs.