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 February 4, 11, & 18, 2012. 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. Volunteers receive hands-on training in all areas.
Application, interview, liability waiver, and criminal background check required. Application deadline is November 30, 2011.
Each year in October the BBSPVO membership has its annual picnic and at this picnic staff honors their accomplishments and awards those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Jaci Elliott, the 2011 recipient of the Award of Excellence shares some thoughts on her volunteer experience. “One of the many perks of volunteering out at Brazos Bend State Park is getting to tell our international visitors all about the flora, fauna and history of our chunk of Texas. Whether I hear one of several foreign languages flowing through the Nature Center as adults translate to their children (or vice-versa), or see the startled expressions eliciting from the touch our live critters, I am reminded that our little slice of heaven here in the Lone Star State is an exotic experience for some of our overseas guests. And for me, it’s like taking a virtual mini European vacation, or getting a micro crash-course in Chinese, or comparing crocodilian characteristics with an actual Aussie—by conversing with our earth-loving brethren around the world, I get the privilege of globe-trotting vicariously.”
The BBSPVO has been serving park visitors for over 20 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 18,000 hours annually and in 2011 they donated an all-time high of 20,489 hours. 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 BBSPVO 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 Coordinator Sharon Hanzik at 979-553-5123.
Brazos Bend State Park is a 5,000-acre island of natural diversity 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