Fossil Rim Wildlife Center volunteers hail from near and far, but it is the contribution itself that is significant.
Concur, which provides expense management software for companies, is a subsidiary company of SAP. Concur employees made the trip to Fossil Rim on Oct. 13 from Allen, Texas to help get some of the facility’s nature trails in tiptop condition. There were also some general SAP employees from other cities who chose to chip in for the Fossil Rim cause – a dozen volunteers in all.
“We love animals and heard about the opportunity to help Fossil Rim and its endangered and threatened species, so we are here to try to help make a difference,” said Areli Moyini, supervisor for the Concur resolution team. “There is a new program in SAP – the Volunteer Ambassador Program – which has given us access to more internal resources. We got in touch with Fossil Rim; it’s very dear to my heart and I reached out to (Volunteer Coordinator) Andrew (Bullard) and (Director of Education) Tessa Chenoa Ownbey.
“They let us know they did have some urgent needs. We got to meet some new faces from different SAP offices today that we wouldn’t have otherwise, so that was another positive.”
Volunteers were able to bring their children, who had some fun at the Children’s Animal Center making piñatas and brushing goats.
“When we do volunteer work, we welcome people to bring their families,” Moyini said.
Although she has been to Fossil Rim several times, Moyini was not previously aware of the nature trails, which are key to the education department.
Fossil Rim staff to help Bullard and Ownbey with the project were Homeschool Coordinator Mark Phillips and Development Officer Carly West.
“With the smaller group I’ve been (working) with, Mark has done a great job of explaining the work that needs to be done,” Moyini said.
Bullard was off on another trail leading some of the other volunteers.
“We have Wolf Trail, Bird Trail and Alpha Trail,” Bullard said. “They are a great way to get out and see natural Texas wildlife in addition to the exotic species you can see on tours. These trails are essential for our education hikes, so the work (for this project) will help make it safer and more user-friendly for our guests.”
Bullard credited Ownbey for setting up the Concur and SAP employees to come spruce up the trails.
“They have a paid day off to come out and volunteer at the organization of their choice, and these people chose Fossil Rim,” he said.
Bullard explained just how crucial volunteers are to how Fossil Rim operates.
“Since Fossil Rim is a nonprofit organization, we rely heavily on our volunteers to get so many things done,” he said. “Right now, we are utilizing them to improve these nature trails, but they also give tours, help in the Nature Store, the Overlook Café, the Children’s Animal Center and more. This place couldn’t run as it does without our volunteers.
“We have about 90 volunteers on record, but we are hoping to expand that. We are revamping our junior volunteer program, trying to work with Tarleton State University. Everyone who comes out here has a good time, so we are going to keep building this program up.”
In order to do so, there is always room for a new face at Fossil Rim.
“We are always looking for groups who want to come out and help – the larger, the better – or even individuals – just get in contact with me,” Bullard said. “We’d love to have you.”
To learn more about volunteering, call 254.897.2960.
“I would love to encourage people to come out and help Fossil Rim as well,” Moyini said. “There is always something that you can do here, plus you learn about nature and endangered animals along the way.”
-Tye Chandler, Marketing Associate