Getting Ready for Earth Day

Yesterday, the Environment and Recycling Ad-hoc Committee’s Earth Day subcommittee met to continue to work out plans. I was glad I could finally attend a meeting, because it was fun to see the team at work. I was joined by Ann Collins, Linda Jo Conn, Joyce Conner, Catherine Johnson, Rosie Johnson (guest and helper), Larry Kocian, Kathy Lester, and Donna Lewis (the leader of the bunch).

Nandina and Texas mountain laurel added beauty and scent too the meetiing.

What’s going on with Earth Day?

The El Camino Real Master Naturalist Chapter’s biggest outreach project each year is to host an Earth Day event, to share ways to protect the planet with the community. This year it will be at:

Rockdale Community Center, 109 N. Main, on Saturday, April 20, 10 am – 2 pm.

We were excited to learn about all the planned activities and tables. Our team leader, Donna Lewis, went over all the topics and who was planned to staff them, and we settled on where a lot of the tables would be. For example, the recycled tote bag giveaway will be at the entrance, so attendees can use the totes to gather information they want to take home. And the seedling giveaway will be at the exit, to keep those baby plants happy.

Donna Llewis explains something to Kathy Lester, while Linda Jo Con looks on. Joyce Connner, Ann Collins and Cathy Johnson study notes.

It’s great news that the local Girl Scouts plan to join us, as well as our friends at the USDA, who had a great display last year.

We have lots to share already, andwere thrilled to see some beautiful models of the lifecycles of insects and other organisms that had been donated by our Master Naturalist friends in Temple. We will get so much use out of them, including at Earth Day.

A silly selfie shows that Larry Kocian and I were also in attendance.

Whenever there’s an event like this, there are a lot of little details to attend to, such as advertising and signage. We’re grateful to have Larry Kocian to get us on the radio, and Cathy Johnson to contact all the newspapers and other media outlets. Donna is goining to check signage regulations and see if the city will make us a banner!

By meeting’s end the team was feeling pretty confident that we will have a great deal of interesting information at our event.

Storage needs

All the lovely supplies we have for our outreach projects are scattered at members’ homes, and we realized it’s a bit risky to do that, because the items might end up being irretrievable. I offered to store things in my company’s soon-to-be renovated church building, and suggested that the facility would be a nice, central location for future trainings and meetings.

Mmm

We shared a wonderful meal, and are very grateful to Cathy Johnson for doing most of the cooking, as well as to everyone who brought additional food. That kept us going!

Earth Day is officially April 22 this year. Join us April 20 in Rockdale! (image source Earth Day Clip Art)

How can you help?

Fellow Milam County Master Naturalists, please let Donna Lewis know if you’ll be helping out, because we still need folks to staff the tables and generally be friendly. And if you have made tote bags, make sure to get them to someone on the committee. We can use more.

Also, the entire report of the meeting will be available in the members’ area of our website. There’s not enough blog space to include all the details from the meeting!

Everybody else, mark your calendars for April 20, and be sure to join us in downtown Rockdale for the event. There are new restaurants, fun shops and lots more that you may not even realize are in the area, so make a day of it!

All Things Wild (ATW) Volunteer Training

by Joyce Conner, Catherine Johnson, Kathy Lester, and Donna Lewis

On Sunday, February 24, 2019, four El Camino Real Chapter members attended three hours of volunteer training at the new All Things Wild Rehabilitation Center in Georgetown, TX. It was difficult to find the first time out, but was found on a hill in a clean, large facility.

You may have seen their March 2019 newsletter, Paws N’ Claws, that went out to all of our members. If you missed it, email info@allthingswildrehab.org.

During this three-hour training, we met many of their highly skilled and compassionate workers and covered so many topics about the center and care of the animals that it would be impossible to repeat everything here. So, instead, we have tried to distill the information into a few topic categories.

Here’s their neat and simple entrance

Mission

The All Things Wild Rehabilitation (ATW) 501c(3) organization started in 2012 with a small group of dedicated rehabilitators who wanted to combine their expertise, effort, and time to help more of the wild animals who were being increasingly negatively impacted by humans. From their Facebook page, the mission of ATW is β€œto promote respect and compassion for all wildlife though public education and awareness; to rescue, rehabilitate and release sick, injured, orphaned, and displaced wildlife back into the appropriate habitat; and to provide sanctuary for those in need.”

Their new facility 15-minutes north of downtown Georgetown officially opens March 11, 2019, and the public is invited.

Continue reading “All Things Wild (ATW) Volunteer Training”

In the Dark

by Catherine Johnson

In January 2019, Master Naturalist Donna Lewis and I met at 5 am in Gause so we could go to Spring, Texas to attend a program on Monarch butterflies.

We drove in the darkness for two hours in all manner of construction and traffic that started in Plantersville and went to “sleepy” Magnolia. We continued through a forest into Dennis Johnston Park.

The speakers were enjoyable and knowledgeable, and we saw greenscapes surviving in the city.

We traveled at dusk to Navasota and Bryan. My limited experience with my rental car and weak vistion caused some tense moments along the way!

Back in Gause at Donna’s truck, she fed a stray cat, and we both drove home…in the dark.