For my Ogallala Commons community service hours, I co-chaired “Scales, Tails, and Trails,” a community outreach event, and ran a booth for “Smokey Backs the VFD’s” that focused on native flora identification for children.
Scales, Tails, and Trails (STT) was hosted by Texas Tech University’s Association of Natural Resource Scientists (ANRS), of which I am also a member. I volunteered, along with another graduate student, to coordinate and plan the event at the Lubbock Lake Landmark. Volunteers from several organizations, including Texas A&M Forest Service, TTU Association of Biological Sciences, Texas Master Naturalists, and many others came together to provide fun and educational booths for children along the boardwalk. The themes of the booths represented different spheres of natural resources management including playa education, telemetry, fire safety, beekeeping, amphibians, fish, mammals, insects, etc. I also was able to personally host the playa education booth as a representative of Ogallala Commons. The experience allowed me to gain skills in cooperation and coordination along with public speaking relating to the conservation of our playa wetlands.
The second event, Smokey Backs the VFD’s, was a celebration of Smokey the Bear’s 75th Birthday along with a celebration of volunteer firefighters throughout the region. At my booth, I had an assortment of pressed plants that I helped young children learn to identify. This event was hosted by Texas A&M Forest Service and hosted partner organizations, such as ANRS, NOAA, DPS, and the Red Cross. It was a great opportunity for myself to not only teach young children about the natural world, but to show my support of our first responders.