Ames Insect Initiative

The Ames Insect Initiative is a student-led project that strives to make Ames a more insect friendly place, by creating change right before our eyes and in our backyards. Insects are the most diverse animal group on the planet and support all of our ecosystems. The benefits they provide for us are numerous, but include pollinating our food, keeping our soil healthy, and contributing more than $57 billion a year to the U.S. economy. We need them, and they now desperately need our help.

Insect populations are declining rapidly every year, due to a magnitude of reasons, but mainly loss of habitat and pesticide use. Fostering appreciation of insects as well as understanding what challenges they face is vital for supporting our community‚Äôs natural resources. Learn more at Take Action for Insects.

For Earth Day 2021 the Ames Insect Initiative virtually visited the Ames Public Middle School to teach the 6th and 7th graders about our arthropod friends, check out the video here: Ames Intro to Insects

Did you know that lawns were first brought to America by Thomas Jefferson in the 1700's and haven't changed much since? Our Lawns of the Past event in the ISU Free Speech Zone aimed to educate students about alternatives to traditional lawns.

Three Insect Zoo employees stand at their booth in the ISU Free Speech Zone for the Lawns of the Past campus event

Ditch your grass lawn and convert your land into native habitat for insects and other plants and animals using the levels of lawn rehabilitation. More information and financial support can be found through the City of Ames Smart Watersheds and Rebates page.

Join in on No Mow May! By not practicing lawn care for the month of May, beneficial pollinators are able to get vital resources they need. Join our Facebook group to learn more

Looking to support insects on a bigger scale? Help support science-based conservation by becoming a member or making a donation to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation! This is a non-profit that focuses on pollinator conservation, endangered species conservation, and reducing pesticide use and impacts. Besides donating you can be active by supporting bills for insect conservation.