2021 Cibolo Celebration of Service
By Brent Evans
“You have no idea what the smallest word, the tiniest generosity can cause to be set in motion.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
In 1988, Carolyn and I and a few friends in Boerne volunteered to create some nature trails in City Park, but we had no idea how that would ripple through time as it has. It began with trail building, the donation of the visitor center – an 1898 building from Main Street, creek cleanups, Boerne Lake cleanups, tree planting, rain collecting, marsh and prairie restoration, school field trips, citizen science, native plant sales, the # 9 walking trail, a bond election for county parks, Moondances, The Cibolo Conservancy Land Trust, The Lende Learning Center, and Campus, Nature Box Program, the Nature Center Book, local advocacy for nature, creation of civic conservation policy, the Herff Farm, land transactions to protect the Cibolo, Farmers Market, Teaching Gardens, the Chicken School Yard and Hatchery, and The Nest, our new nature pre-school.
All these things have been enabled by this community, volunteers, and supporters working to make the world a little better. And philanthropic donors have often been inspired to give by seeing local volunteers making the world a little better. Some donors are motivated just by visiting the place and seeing the results of all these efforts. For what is now the Cibolo Center for Conservation, eighty percent of all donated funds have come from individuals and just twenty percent from grants and foundations. That is an example of our community in motion.
Our next most important step is ensuring that all this work can last well beyond us – now we are building a forever fund, an endowment, that will create a Sustainable Cibolo. Let us know if you are interested in joining the Heirloom Society.
Last Thursday evening, on December 2nd, eighty-five volunteers were honored at the Cibolo Celebration of Service awards hosted by our staff: Laurie Brown, Maura Bobbitt, Linda Charlton, Ben Eldredge, Brent Evans, Donna Taylor, as well as others. Jerry Knippa made the evening perfect playing tunes from his vast repertoire on an 1888 vintage Beckwith piano, donated by Cathy and John Young. Boerne City Planning Director, Laura Hanning, was honored for her extraordinary work in Civic Conservation Policy, instrumental in creating one of the most far-reaching Unified Development Codes in the State.
Donna Taylor will be retiring from her position at the Cibolo Nature Center, but she will be continuing as a volunteer with Citizen Science. She received a standing ovation for her twelve years of outstanding work that has helped our organization stand out in the scientific community and reach international recognition. So, the Gathering Hall at the Nest glowed with all the love it could as fellowship followed. And we marveled at how a small volunteer effort 33 years ago inspired more efforts which inspired more and more. Just like Clarissa Pinkola Estes said, none of us had any idea what a few small words and the tiniest of generosities would cause to be set in motion and make the world a little better