My friend and I took our girls to attend the VIP behind the scenes adventure tour for the Insect Discovery Lab in San Francisco. I had no idea what to expect, but as I was driving to 699 Mississippi Street on Potrero Hill, all I kept wondering was, “Would a Marin family drive all the way out here?” Then we pulled up to an unmarked apartment building and walked down a dark hall to the end, apartment 106. “What on earth did I get us into?” The kids rang the doorbell and an attractive, young woman answered and invited us in. We walked down a dark hall. This cannot be right?
To our surprise, the room opened to a big table with so many AMAZING insects. We were all astounded by what we saw, held and learned. To have an up close and personal chance to meet and hold these incredible insects from around the world is something none of us will forget. The staff’s enthusiasm is contagious and the insects are fascinating specimens from all over the world, including Giant African millipedes, Darkling beetles and Whip Scorpions.
We held a leaf insect that actually mimicked a bug-eaten decaying leaf blowing in the wind. We saw an egg emerging from the abdomen of an Australian walking stick, we tickled the tummies of Madagascar hissing cockroaches (yes, they are ticklish) and so much more! This is one of the coolest places I’ve been to.
Okay, I am proven wrong. This is a place well worth venturing to. We LOVED it! Not only was it a great chance to learn about the life of these amazing creatures but also an opportunity to show my daughter where in the world they come from, discuss biodiversity and to talk to her about the important role they play. And when you conserve these places, not only do you save the insects but also larger animals that live in the rainforest. The children were so excited and have a better understanding of the precious wildlife on earth and that is the true mission of Savenature.org.
Savenature.org is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year! The money they raise from the VIP Tours and other programs help promote their conservation efforts to purchase and protect healthy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems throughout Latin America, the Pacific and the Caribbean.