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Volunteer Spotlight: Rachael Lyons

Posted on: Jun 14, 2016 / Conservator Q2 2016-Events-News / 0 COMMENTS

By Leary Salupen

Volunteers make up the backbone of the Bolsa Chica Conservancy and we depend on them, not only for their dedication, time, and financial support, but also for their individual talents and selflessness. The staff at the Conservancy lean on their volunteers and without them, our non-profit simply cannot function. It is because of this that they deserve all forms of recognition and this quarter, we would like to put the spotlight on Rachael Lyons, Khaleesi of the Interpretive Center.


The first time Rachael visited the Bolsa Chica Conservancy was a couple years ago with a friend. After exploring the ecological reserve and our current Interpretive Center, she was impressed by the progress our restoration efforts have undergone and how this affected the heightened population of our wildlife. “I felt that this little pocket of land held something special and I wanted to be a part of its preservation in any way I could,” Rachael said. Shortly thereafter, she began her journey as a BCC volunteer and for a year and a half, has been helping out in a number of different areas.


At the Conservancy, Rachael takes on a multitude of tasks from Bolsa Chica Bird Survey data entry to spreading the Bolsa Chica love at outreach events; however, her primary volunteer effort is as our Monday morning host. As a host, Rachael provides administrative support, making solicitation phone calls to help with fundraising endeavors and contacting businesses when follow ups are necessary. Rachael’s professional, yet easygoing personality exemplifies a great Interpretive Center host and she’s always willing to take on new tasks – such as being a snake charmer and defender of feeder mice.


“I think it is important that the Bolsa Chica Conservancy focuses on the education of our natural resources,” says Rachael, when asked which values the Bolsa Chica Conservancy encompasses that she finds important. “I think this is especially important when this information is passed down to younger children, who will grow up with a stronger understanding of natural ecology. The information we pass to people regarding watersheds, restoration, and conservation has the potential to directly alter public behavior in regards to our ecosystems and the health of our planet.”


Rachael’s time here at the Conservancy is met with many fun memories since “every day is a new experience. There’s always something funny that happens at the Interpretive Center,” laughed Rachael. Aside from the work and fun, Rachael feels like she is making a huge impact as a volunteer at the Conservancy. “Because of our size, I can see almost immediate and direct improvements through the contributions of myself and other volunteers.”


Other than volunteering at the Conservancy, Rachael was recently put on the foster list for
wild baby rabbits for the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach. “I am very excited to continue bottle feeding and caring for more fuzzy babies,” she exclaimed. If she’s not hosting at the Interpretive Center or nurturing baby rabbits, you can find her at working at Karl Strauss Brewing Company in Costa Mesa, hiking and exploring trails, or at her weekly boxing class. She is a student at California State University of Fullerton, a voracious reader, and is obsessed with Game of Thrones.


From Rachael’s experiences, she wanted to pass on advice to those looking to volunteer in the future. “Every minute of your time counts. Find something that you’re good at and volunteer in a way that is comfortable for you. Also, especially for younger volunteers, don’t be afraid to network with as many people as you can through your experiences here.” Thank you for all that you do Rachael!


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