Birds, Bugs And Beyond Festival

FREEHOLD – A free Birds, Bugs and Beyond festival is taking place on August 19 from 12 to 4 p.m., rain or shine, at the Monmouth County Agricultural Building, 4000 Kozloski Road.

Hosted by the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Monmouth County and the 4-H Youth Development Program, the nature-focused festival will feature live performances, games and crafts for both children and adults to explore.

“Birds, Bugs and Beyond is a hands-on fun day for families to learn about the beneficial creatures in our home gardens and lawns,” Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry said in a statement. “This event furthers the efforts of our Master Gardeners and 4-H club members to educate residents of all ages and of all gardening interests. Bring your gardening questions and you can have them answered, too.”

This year’s theme is “Adventures in Nature,” featuring activities and games, plus displays of insects, birds, bats, butterflies and other garden dwellers. There will be a cameo by Rappin’ with Raptors Show from the Tenafly Nature Center, make and take crafts, composting and vermicomposting (with worms) and garden tours.

The Monmouth County Mosquito Division will also be providing displays of animal tracks, scat identification and farm animals. Children and their families will also get to examine a beehive and learn how honey is gathered, and observe Monarch butterflies and ladybugs up close.

Monmouth County 4-H Club members and Master Gardeners will both be on hand to showcase their rabbits, reptiles and chickens, and expertise in all things home gardening. A free Master Gardener Helpline Table will be set up to answer all your gardening questions.

This program is free, but vendors will be on site selling honey, fresh produce and jams, as well as ice cream, Italian ice and light snacks.

For more information about Birds, Bugs and Beyond, call the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County at 732-431-7260.