NewsHillsborough County


Tampa nursery owner teaches NASA scientists sustainability

“I was like, ‘Are you sure you are talking to the right person,’” joked Anita Camacho, Little Red Wagon Native Nursery.
Anita Camacho NASA 2.PNG
Posted at 8:45 AM, Jul 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-14 17:25:47-04

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s been an exciting summer for one Tampa nursery owner. What started out as hosting nature camps for kids blossomed into an invitation to speak about sustainability at NASA.

Anita Camacho is known for her fun and educational butterfly releases at Little Red Wagon Native Nursery. She never imagined what she’s been teaching to Tampa children would have just as much of an impact on the scientists of NASA.

“There’s a pretty big focus at NASA on sustainability overall and trying to reduce the footprint of everything that they are doing there, so it’s kind of a big initiative for them, and I was part of a speaker series,” said Camacho.

Camacho said it’s nice to know that the dozens of camps she holds every year on animals, insects and plants were noticed all the way in Cape Canaveral.

She remembers receiving the call inviting her to The Kennedy Space Center.

“I was like, ‘Are you sure you are talking to the right person,’” joked Camacho.

Anita Camacho.PNG

Scientists watched and listened both in person and online across the country. Camacho wasted no time bringing up her favorite insect.

“One thing that actually got their attention was the mission in 2009 with Atlantis going up into space with three monarchs, so that was part of my talk,” said Camacho.

Believe it or not, she says the experience really wasn’t that much different than the kid's summer camps.

“You know they are rocket scientists, and they do amazing things, and I couldn’t even imagine doing what they do, but when it comes to what we can do here on earth, here in our own backyard, and making it sustainable, it’s a different conversation than they are used to,” said Camacho.

Anita Camacho kids camp.PNG

“A lot of them are interested in starting a pollinator garden or butterfly garden, and some of them are already doing some things and had some questions on how they could do even more.”

For more information on Little Red Wagon Native Nursery and upcoming camps, click here.