Bio-Blitz Planned at Merck Forest and Farmland Center
Merck Forest and Farmland Center (MFFC) in Rupert will inaugurate BioBlitz, a free 24-hour community event slated for 12 noon on Saturday, July 27, to 12 noon on Sunday, July 28, rain or shine. A BioBlitz is a collective effort made over a discrete period of time to document as much naturally-occurring life as possible within a set geographic area. Join MFFC for this happy and safe summertime exploration of the natural world! A stellar group of experts from across eight disciplines will guide groups of participants in search of pollinators and insects, forest communities, reptiles and amphibians, invasive and native herbaceous plants, moths, birds, fungi – and anything to be found in-between. An evening of festivities that Saturday will include a potluck dinner followed by firefly viewing as well as owl calling and moth light sessions. A convenient area to tent will be available for this special event at $5 per person, located in the 30-acre field overlooking the farm. All group activities will begin and end at the Frank Hatch Sap House. Join the experts from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, the North Branch Nature Center, the Battenkill Watershed Invasive Species Management Area, the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation, the U.S. Forest Service, and others to participate in this 24-hour event. Details, including a list of workshops and pre-registration for selected activities, can be found at merckforest.org. Pre-registration is not required for all activities, but is available – and highly suggested for others. Participation for group-led activities will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The opportunity to explore and contribute on your own will also be encouraged. BioBlitz is a family-friendly event; you don’t need to be an expert naturalist – both guides and MFFC staff will be on hand to assist with identifying and submitting your findings using iNaturalist and eBird.