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Club loves to bug Greenbrier

October 12, 1997

By GUY FLETCHER

Staff Writer

GREENBRIER - Those squeamish about bugs that crawl in the dirt or buzz in the sky might be happy to know that many of the fears are unfounded.

In fact, of the 64 different kinds of insects collected for a two-year project by "The Bug Patrol," a group of about 20 youths from the Frederick County 4-H Club, only 17 are known to bite or sting.

Still, when asked how the children caught a menacing cicada-killing wasp, club advisor Michael Turell jokingly replied, "Very carefully."

On Sunday the club completed the project by presenting its collection of insects, pinned beneath glass in a wooden box, to Greenbrier State Park, where it will be kept on permanent display at the park's Visitors Center.

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"It's really interesting for folks to come into the Visitors Center to see this collection," said Al Preston, assistant manager of the South Mountain Recreation Area, which includes Greenbrier.

The members of the club have spent many days, armed with insect-catching nets, to build the collection. The insects were killed, often by freezing, and then categorized and pinned.

"This project is pretty special," said Brian Shedd, a 14-year-old Middletown, Md., resident and president of the insect club.

Shedd said the project marks the first time the group has collected insects at on state property - something it was granted special permission for. The result is something all people can now enjoy, he said.

"It really educates the people as to what's out there and what's around," said Shedd, wearing a "Don't Bug Me" T-shirt.

Some creepy crawlers were not included in the collection, including spiders and small aquatic animals that are not technically insects.

Not all of the insects in the collection were actually captured on park property - some were caught in Frederick County - but all can be found in the park, Turell said.

Shedd said there are many, many more insects at the park that could have been added to the collection.

"If we had gotten every insect that's out there, we could probably fill a room with boxes," Shedd said.

But what they have so far is fine, he said.

"This is good for the kids. They put a lot of work into it," Preston said.

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