I am very excited to announce that the Fall of 2016 is the kickoff for the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium (CNCP) "Return to Nature" celebration. Our revitalization efforts focus on making CNCP one of the premiere nature centers in the United States. With eco-tourism as a vital source of income and attention for our region, the "Return to Nature" Campaign was inspired by the CNCP strategic mission to connect people with nature, as well as reminding residents of the long, rich history CNCP has played in environmental education for over 40 years in SWFL.
Your role in helping us to achieve this vision will not go unnoticed by our loyal following who are residents and visitors of SWFL. As we near the Center's 50th anniversary, it is important that our community not only return to nature with all its health & wellness benefits, but return to the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium to enjoy its vast history and expert resources, and take part in the development of its future.
A group of concerned community leaders, under the direction of an engaged Board of Directors, created this fundraising effort to support the CNCP and its wildlife, and to further the strategic efforts of CNCP including the protection of Lee County's unique natural environment and overall quality of life. Under the leadership of Board Chairman Dr. Bill Hammond, John Cassani, past Chairman, and the "Return to Nature" Committee, we can assure that all proceeds raised will be used to revitalize the CNCP as a premiere community cornerstone for environmental educational excellence while continuing the mission of connecting people with nature.
The 2017-2020 CNCP Strategic Revitalization Plan includes fundraising for:
- Reestablishing the CNCP Environmental Education team to reach thousands of students in Lee County schools.
- Staff and associated costs which allow CNCP to advocate for environmental and wildlife conservation efforts in Lee County and throughout SWFL.
- Staff and associated costs, including an Executive Director, Director of Animal Care & Wildlife, and Program Managers, which enable CNCP to actively engage children and adults in the SWFL environment with wildlife and conservation opportunities.
- CNCP Facility improvements including:
- > Expansion and renovation of CNCP's Planetarium
- > Development of new Nature Exploration & Play Area for children & families
- > Revitalization of exhibits for aviary, alligator, raccoon, bobcat, and Florida panther
- > Replacement of roof, windows, and CNCP roadside signage
- Care of CNCP new wildlife, including food, medicine and cost of veterinary care.
- Technology upgrades, including phones, computers, LED lighting, presentation equipment and cameras for research on the CNCP grounds.
- Ancillary programs, such as intern program, summer camp, scholarships for "at-risk" kids, transportation for student field trips, and response to calls about injured wildlife. Our hope is that you share the vision of connecting people with nature.