MDC's Powder Valley Nature Center makes bugs fun for the whole family

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — They buzz, they fly, they crawl, they eat, and sometimes they bite, but how much do we really know about our insect friends? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will shed some light on creepy crawlies with a special event designed to educate and entertain the whole family.

MDC will host Friday Night Live: The Buzz about Bugs on Friday, Aug. 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

The whole family is encouraged to attend with lots of activities to make the insect world interesting and accessible to all. According to Powder Valley Naturalist Amy Anderson, who is coordinating the event, the most adventurous activity may be Café Luna. This station will offer visitors a chance to taste real bugs like cheddar-covered beetle larvae and chocolate-covered crickets.

Other event activities include:

  • An insect discovery room to explore pond water and examine bugs with dissecting scopes and magnifiers.
  • An insect Olympics activity to help kids understand special adaptations of insects by mimicking their behaviors with their own bodies.
  • A self-guided "Name That Insect" quiz posted along the Tanglevine Trail to test participants' knowledge of commonly misidentified insects.
  • Information on the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, as well as advice on common household insect problems.
  • Special bug-themed door prizes.

Anderson points out that insects are important to us all because they are a vital part of the food chain, take on the important resource-renewing task of decomposing, and pollinate about one-third of everything we eat.

"Insects can be beneficial, or they can cause problems," she noted, "but we're focusing more on the benefits of insects and helping people discover nature."

To learn more about the free event, call the Nature Center at (314) 301-1500 or go to

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road, near the intersection of I-270 and I-44. Building hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The outdoor trails are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during daylight savings time, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the year.