Brazos Bend State Park accepting applications for volunteer training
Want to make a serious commitment to a whole lot of fun? Become a member of the Brazos Bend State Park Volunteer Organization (BBSPVO). Staff is accepting applications for the next round of training that will take place September 13, 20 & 27, 2014. All three dates are mandatory.
Park Staff is seeking outgoing, self-motivated individuals who are able to donate at least 48 hours per calendar year and are able to assist park visitors year round. Volunteers operate the park’s nature center and volunteer gift shop. They conduct programs and hikes for the general public and school groups, maintain various customer services and assist the park maintenance staff with trail maintenance, etc. We are in particular need of those interested in staffing the non-profit volunteer gift shop located inside the Nature Center. Volunteers receive hands-on training in all areas. Application, interview, liability waiver and criminal background check required. Application deadline is June 30, 2014.
Pearland resident Suzie Gann has been volunteering since 2006. She tells us of her volunteer experience. “In the 8 years I have been volunteering at the park, I have had so many great experiences and made so many good friends. I can usually be found working in the Nature Center on Sundays. It’s my chance to talk to visitors from not just Texas or the United States, but from all over the world. What an opportunity to educate people on all the wildlife that can be found in the park, especially the alligators.
Another area I love to volunteer to help with is leading school group hikes. The kids are so excited to observe and learn about all the different ecosystems and what lives in each one. One of my best experiences with a school group was when an inner city school came out for a hike around 40-Acre Lake. These were children who had never been out of the city and just watching them see an alligator, bird or turtle for the first time out in the “wild” was one I will never forget. Just maybe, this caused one of these kids to pursue a future studying and helping to conserve nature.
Then there’s the chance to hit the trails and interact with the visitors. They ask all sorts of questions from “can you tell us where we can find an alligator?” to “what’s a good trail for viewing birds?” It’s also fun watching their reaction at seeing their first alligator, their first great blue heron, or any of our other wildlife. Becoming a volunteer at Brazos Bend State Park is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I do not regret one moment of it.”
The BBSPVO has been serving park visitors for 25 years and has been recognized by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the Texas State Senate and House of Representatives as an exemplary organization that consistently donates an average of 20,000 hours annually. The Organization also donates a substantial amount of funding that is used to directly assist the park with operational, educational and customer service needs. The majority of this funding is provided by their gift shop sales but also comes from private donations. The BBSPVO is a 501, (C ), (3) non-profit organization.
Applications are also accepted for maintenance work only. (One may start volunteering immediately after the criminal background check clears and liability waiver is signed.)
Complete training information and application can be found at www.brazosbend.org. You may also contact BBSPVO Volunteer Coordinator Sharon Hanzik at 979-553-5123.
Brazos Bend State Park is a 5,000-acre parcel of public land southwest of Houston that is managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations. www.tpwd.state.tx.us
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