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Myriad Botanical Gardens hosts ladybug release event

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Kids will learn about nature and the environment as they help release 70,000 ladybugs into the Myriad Botanical Gardens Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory on Thursday.

The annual "Bug Out" program is part of the Gardens' integrated pest management system. The ladybugs eat other harmful pests like aphids and mealybugs, providing an earth-friendly way to maintain the ecosystem without using harsh chemicals.

"The excitement that the kids have in getting to release these little ladybugs, they absolutely love it," said Jennifer McClintock, an Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman. "It's a great nature education opportunity."

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The event will also include bug-related arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt and a visit from Miss Ladybug herself. Kids are encouraged to dress up in their own polka-dotted ladybug attire.

"It's a heck of a lot of fun," McClintock said. "It's a great family opportunity."

The insects are given out on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.

The "Bug Out" kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at the Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 4-12. For more information, call 297-3995.

"Caitlin Harrison

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