Rolling Plains Chapter brings life to volunteering opportunities

Oscar Cindo

A crowd of volunteers and members of the Rolling Plains Chapter were in attendance for the second monthly meeting in Bolin Hall Room 209 on Oct. 3. The meeting went beyond just simple business.

Hosted by Terry McKee, president of the Texas Master Naturalist Rolling Plains Chapter, discussed upcoming events, programs and educational, volunteering opportunities. One of which was an opportunity to learn how to measure rainfall.

McKee said, “It involves a set rain gauge that reports rainfall in your area and you learn how to send a report. It’s an easy way to train and earn volunteer hours as well as learning about weather patterns. There will be events training as well which count toward volunteering hours.” It will take place at 10 a.m. in Bolin Hall room 209 on Saturday.

Another event will be held by Wild Park Rescue by Lake Wichita on Sunday. McKee said, “It’s a nice bird watching event behind Wild Park Rescue overlooking Lake Wichita. It starts at dawn and it’s a good way to learn about birds from experts while watching the birds first hand.”

Secretary of the Rolling Plains Chapter, Lynn Seman talked about a volunteering opportunity within the program she is a part of, which revolves around quail study.

“We went to Kirby Middle School and did a dissection of quail while teaching the students about it as well. On Nov. 6 and 7, we would love to have volunteers even if you have never dissected a quail before, I can take one and we can do a pre-dissection beforehand. ”

The meeting concluded with a guest speaker by the name of Edwin Quintero, superintendent of Copper Breaks State Park. He talked about where the park is located as well as the various things to do such as hiking, camping and swimming but also highlighted why the park is unique.

He said, “In terms of biological diversity, the park is very unique because it’s situated in an area where there’s semi arid grassland and brush land. Being in the central fly way of the park during migration periods, we can see about 300 species of birds. It’s also home to about 59 different type of mammals.”

According to the Copper Breaks State Park pamphlet, mule deer are common, along with sightings of bobcats and the occasional mountain lion. Other wildlife includes white-tailed deer, raccoon, armadillo, coyote, cottontail and fox.

Quintero provided opportunities for students to help boost their resume and encourage anyone to take advantage of it as well.

He said, “We are looking and encouraging students to come volunteer at the park as it can boost your resume. Getting hands on experience can apply to more internship opportunities for state parks. It can be a big benefit in terms of getting credit and being ahead in job opportunities as we are looking for volunteers for trail or conservation educational activities and many more.”