Grant #512

Insect Room

December 5, 2022

A Nature Center in Southwest Florida Celebrates The Creepy, Crawly World of Bugs

Most people have never been thrilled to see a bug. Insects are a nuisance, and we notice them when one is, well, bugging us. Insects get squashed, shooed, or swatted. You could be a wonderful person. You’ve murdered a bug. 

The animal kingdom can be brutal. But the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium in Southwest Florida thinks even the tiniest (and sometimes most aggravating!) critters deserve a little credit. Bugs don’t just sting and suck. Some serve as essential food sources for fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals. Others pollinate flowers. Insects make up over 80% of terrestrial species on Earth, and our planet depends on them. 

The staff at Calusa wants to renovate a space that will celebrate these small creatures and let them strut—uh, crawl—their stuff. Our grant will help Calusa overhaul its insect room, from re-carpeting the space with green indoor-outdoor grass to setting up tables with microscopes and slides to purchasing a rack with tanks for an indoor beehive. 

Kids are born scientists and explorers, asking questions and investigating the world around them. Calusa wants to foster that love of learning and create some buzz about insects in the process. It’s a mission that doesn’t bug us one bit. 

Category: Animals, Children, Education, Environment



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders