Delaware Botanic Gardens opens for lecture

On May 17, the Delaware Botanic Gardens (DBG) opened its gates for the “Bugs & Beer” lecture by Todd Fritchman at the Dogfish Head Learning Garden. It was a clear success with 75 visitors and DBG volunteers participating, according to officials.

Ray Sander, president of Delaware Botanic Gardens (DBG) said, “This event kicks off our 2019 educational program at DBG. It happened because of the strong support and collaboration between Dogfish Head who is our lead naming rights supporter, and Envirotech who created the wetlands outdoor classroom. They are our educational mission support team.”

Mariah Calagione, co-owner of Dogfish Head said, “We are proud to be partners with DBG and it’s exciting to see the wetlands outdoor classroom in action with a wonderful teacher like Todd.”

Todd Fritchman, owner of Envirotech added, “The constructed wetland has provided a habitat for the growth and development of frogs, toads and multitudes of macro invertebrates such as damsel flies, dragon flies, crustaceans such as crayfish, insect pollinators and much more.” In short, he said, “This class allowed us to understand the biological diversity of this Living Outdoor Classroom’ and to best understand the ecological significance of the wetland and the biota it supports.”

This class was not just a lecture. It was a “hands-on” experience with participants taking water samples and observing the creatures living in the wetlands. Pat Long from Millville said, “I liked the tadpoles swimming in the water.” Fritchman observed, “It was clear that inquiry based learning works and profound interest was generated as the participants literally got wet and into the experience. Their questions began to flow.”

A video of the Bugs and Beer event is available on YouTube at

After class, the visitors took a leisurely stroll through the gardens and Alison Skeel of Kensington, Md., said, “The gardens are fantastic, and I can’t wait to come back.”

Sheryl Swed, DBG Executive Director, said, “We wish to thank Carol McCloud, DBG Volunteer Coordinator and all the volunteers who worked so hard to get the gardens ready for this event, including planting 1,500 blueberry bushes this past week. Thank you, all.”

The mission of the Delaware Botanic Gardens is to create an inspirational, educational, and sustainable public garden in Delaware for the benefit and enjoyment of all. The Delaware Botanic Gardens celebrates the coastal plain with a sustainable garden that delights and educates visitors and inspires them to preserve Delmarva’s native landscape.

The next DBG Event is “Sip & Saunter” on Thursday, June 13, when visitors will see the Piet Oudolf Meadow Garden blooming at its peak. For information and tickets go to