Out & About: Get acquainted with caterpillars in Bradford, Vt.

Valley News Calendar Editor
Published: 7/1/2019 8:00:09 PM

BRADFORD, Vt. — Most people are familiar with Eric Carle’s beloved children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

On Tuesday, July 9, people can see caterpillars up close when The Caterpillar Lab visits the Bradford Elementary School gym for a day full of educational programs about the insects.

“I don’t think people think much about them at all,” said Nancy Jones, chairwoman of the Bradford Conservation Commission, who has attended a Caterpillar Lab presentation in the past. “I was so taken with it, I wanted to make sure we were able to bring it here as well.”

The program is co-sponsored by the Bradford Parks and Recreation Department and Bradford Public Library.

The Caterpillar Project is a Marlborough, N.H.-based nonprofit that was founded by Sam Jaffe in 2013. The traveling program includes caterpillars found in the region and the plants they feast on.

The program will be open to the public from 4-7 p.m. From 10 a.m.-noon, a workshop will be held for educators, naturalists and artists. The rest of the day will be reserved for children’s groups.

Jones said that while people admire caterpillars for their ability to turn into butterflies, they should also be lauded for their “diversity and beauty,” and “what they do for us,” she said. “They’re pollinators.”

By getting a closer look at caterpillars, people may also better understand the role the insects play in the ecosystem.

“I think just to not be uncomfortable with creepy crawly things,” Jones said about what she hopes people take away from the program. “To feel more comfortable and more confident and informed and to appreciate their value.”

Editor’s note: To sign up for The Caterpillar Lab workshop, call 802-439-3562. For more information about The Caterpillar Lab, visit thecaterpillarlab.org. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at 603-727-3221.

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