PROJECT #1: BRACKEN CAVE
Partner Organization: Bat Conservation International
Description: Volunteers will work on trail maintenance and restoration (using wheel barrels and rakes, distributing gravel) and removing invasive plants and debris.
What to wear or bring: Participants are asked to wear their local CFC tee-shirt and to dress comfortably in long pants (the weather is typically in the 60’s). Layering is recommended (long sleeved t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc). The area is normally dry; however the ground could be damp and muddy. Closed toe shoes such as tennis shoes or hiking boots are recommended. Hats and light raingear are encouraged, and work gloves (if you can bring your own pair). Terrain will be mostly flat, but may be muddy and portions are overgrown with cacti.
Gloves, equipment, bottled water, bug spray and sunscreen will be provided.
Background: Bracken Cave is the summer home of the world's largest bat colony. With millions of Mexican free-tailed bats living in the cave from late March thru October, Bracken holds one of the largest concentrations of mammals on earth. [Note that the bats will not be “in residence” in February.] The emergence of these millions of bats, as they spiral out of the cave at dusk for their nightly insect hunt, is an unforgettable sight. In a single evening, it is estimated that the bats will travel 25-50 miles or more, and consume 200 tons of pests and insects, saving US farmers over $3.7 billion per year in pesticide usage and lost crops.
Bats are essential to the health of our natural world. They help control pests and are vital pollinators and seed-dispersers for countless plants. Yet these wonderfully diverse and beneficial creatures are among the least studied and most misunderstood of animals. The cave and 697 acres of the surrounding Texas Hill Country is owned and protected by Bat Conservation International. The cave is on the suburban fringe of San Antonio, in an area of rapid population growth. If not for the generous donations of BCI's members and friends, the cave and its remarkable bats likely would have been engulfed by subdivisions.
PROJECT #2: CHRISTIAN ASSISTANCE MINISTRY
Partner Organization: Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM)
Location: 110 McCullough Avenue, San Antonio
Description: Volunteers will be asked to support one of several activities: 1) Unload, sort and store food items in the CAM pantry; 2) Assist with sorting and arranging donated clothing; and 3) Assist in facility cleaning and maintenance. This agency is located in a very old building with lots of charm and some clients may be visible to volunteers during the project.
What to wear or bring: Participants are asked to wear their local CFC tee-shirt and to dress comfortably. Please bring light work gloves, if available. Bottled water will be provided.
Background: Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM) is a cooperative ministry founded in 1977 by nine downtown San Antonio churches to offer temporary assistance to individuals and families in crisis situations, alleviating the duplication of services by banding together to form one centrally located Christian social service agency. CAM provides food, clothing, financial assistance for rent, utilities, prescriptions, transportation, and identification recovery, and referrals, and counseling for people in crisis in Bexar County. Today, CAM is supported by 70 member churches as well as several other supporting churches in the San Antonio area. For many of its clients, Christian Assistance Ministry is a bridge to support from other agencies or government services, providing food and financial aid until another agency can take over assistance. CAM’s services are sustained by an active volunteer force of over 150 individuals from Member Churches, the Board of Directors and the community at large, who run the food and clothing pantries and interview clients on a daily basis.
We hope you’ll join us on one of these projects and support the community hosting our training conference! Click here to rsvp, or email Cheron Carlson at email@example.com with any questions. See you in San Antonio!