Dragonflies frolic along the water's edge of Ballaine Lake. 

The 10th annual Dragonfly Day will be a virtual event hosted by USFWS Kanuti Wildlife Refuge this year.

In the past, this event was an outdoor fair held at Tanana Lakes Recreation Area, where families learned to net and released wild dragonflies. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, US Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Education Specialist Allyssa Morris is now re-engineering the outdoor fair into an online event. The online program, slated for July 11, will include information on the life cycle of dragonflies, techniques for observing dragonflies and art projects. Lots of activities for families to introduce their children to the world of dragonflies.

Dragonfly content will go live on July 11. The same content will be shared on Kanuti’s Facebook page throughout the day. There is not a schedule of events. To promote the event, organizers are encouraging users to “like” Kanuti Refuge’s Facebook page and follow along on July 11. If they happen to miss it on July 11 or aren’t big into social media, users can go to the regional page’s webpage.

Through Kanuti Wildlife Refuge’s Facebook you will meet Alaska’s most famous dragonfly experts, Bob Armstrong and John Hudson, the guys wrote the book “Dragonflies of Alaska.” You will learn techniques to identify the most common of the 33 species of dragonflies occurring in Alaska. There will be four different videos that will cover how to use an aerial net to catch a dragonfly, a damselfly versus dragonfly, Alaska’s state insect, and the different groups of dragonflies found in Alaska.

Families can download the coloring pages from the website. If they upload a completed coloring page and use #DragonflyDay2020, they could win a prize. Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges funded the printing of holographic dragonfly stickers using the flyer artwork created by Sara Wolman.

Morris will also have other opportunities to increase engagement with prize incentives throughout the day on Kanuti’s Facebook like trivia and dragonfly photo uploads.

If You Go

What: Dragonfly Days DIY

Starting: July 11

Where: Your backyard

Virtual Location: Kanuti Wildlife Refuge Facebook or www.fws.gov/alaska/pages/dragonfly-day

FYI: Borrow a dragonfly net. Contact Allyssa Morris by email Allyssa_Morris@fws.gov or phone 456-0224