Blennerhassett Island to host 'Moth Night' event July 27 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Blennerhassett Island to host 'Moth Night' event July 27

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The Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Master Naturalist program, in conjunction with Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, is sponsoring a “Moth Watch” outing on Blennerhassett Island July 27.

Participants will board the Island Belle sternwheeler at 7 p.m. for a river trip to the island. Attendees will gather at the picnic shelter for a short program about moths and how to catch and observe them. Moth attracting stations will be in place for participants to observe and catch moths. Participants will depart at 11 p.m. for the ride back to the docks. Light refreshments will be provided.

People of all ages are invited to enjoy a special night observing animals rarely seen. Master Naturalists will be on hand to assist and help identify moth species.

“Moth species outnumber those of butterflies by a factor of 15 to 1. Many of them are as stunningly beautiful as butterflies and yet rarely seen because they work at night,” according to Emily Grafton of the local Master Naturalist chapter. “Moths provide an important link in the ecology of our forest ecosystems and much information is needed about the populations. We will also take the opportunity to identify other night life that may appear.”

Grafton will be joined by entomologist Sue Olcott for this evening of winged discoveries.

Participants are encouraged to bring cameras for photographing moths. Some moths will be collected for identification by WVU entomologists. All data will be submitted to a national database, part of the Citizens Scientist network. Participants also should bring a flashlight, light jacket and comfortable walking shoes.

The cost to participate in Moth Night at Blennerhassett Island is $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3-12. This covers the boat ride, light refreshment, program and nighttime experience.

The Blennerhassett Island Moth Night July 27 is scheduled in tandem with National Moth Week occurring July 19-27, 2014. National Moth Week celebrates the beauty, life cycles and habitats of moths, encouraging people of all ages and abilities to learn about, observe and document moths in their backyards, parks and neighborhoods.

To learn more about the Blennerhassett Island Moth Night event, call 304-420-4800 or emailblennerhassettislandsp@wv.gov. Find these events and more at www.wvstateparks.com.