By Jeff Skevington, AAFC & President of the Entomological Society of Ontario
Today was the first ESO Bug Day. Thanks to Sophie Cardinal for organizing it all and to our many members and other volunteers who came out to help. I think it was an unparalleled success. We had hundreds of participants (my guess is slightly over 1000, but it was hard to track numbers). All of the volunteer leaders came with fabulous stuff – everything from Giant Swallowtails and Tomato Hornworm larvae to huge scarab larvae to hissing cockroaches and a whip scorpion. Andy Bennett did a brilliant job with the cockroach races with his home made Duplo race track. We had a tank of aquatic insects, ran at least 15 public hikes, had a biological control display, face painting, a butterfly exhibit, a craft table. The building was bursting at the seems to thankfully the rain held off and we were able to do a lot of it outdoors.
All in all, it was fabulous exposure for the ESO and the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club (who provided many volunteers as well as their clubhouse and gardens).
Thanks again to all who helped and to the ESC for their help with funding. I hope that we can do it again next year – maybe in more than one city now that we have tried it out!