Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Features / Living

January 26, 2014

Fossil Rim promotes education for a younger generation

Johnson County — If you travel U.S. 67 to Glen Rose, there is a place that is like the African safari and exotic animals roam freely on 1,800 acres of land — Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.

Many have gone with their families and visited the animals on a trail they can take in their own car, but Fossil Rim isn’t a zoo. The staff doesn’t like using the word zoo at all. It is a wildlife conservation center focused on species survival and recovery. Fossil Rim’s mission is centered around conservation and education.

The wildlife center will celebrate its 30th anniversary this summer, and with a book coming out later on this year about the facility, Director of Marketing Warren Lewis said it’s a good time for families and schools to visit and learn about the animals and the efforts the nonprofit facility does to help the animals.

Fossil Rim opened to the public in 1984 and it’s the first facility of its kind to be accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. There are 50 species of native and non-native animals that roam freely. Of those 50, 60 percent are threatened or endangered. One thing Lewis said the facility does is educate visitors about the animals and the danger they are in because of hunting and habitat encroachment.

“In this day and age we’re living in, natural habitat and the wildlife that lives in it are getting more pressurized closer and closer to extinction,” Executive Director Pat R. Condy said. “That’s happening everywhere and it’s important the younger generation be aware that it will be their responsibility to save these species.”

The human population will only increase in Texas and once the Chisholm Trail Parkway, a toll road linking Cleburne and Fort Worth, opens, Condy said Cleburne will be “bursting at the seams.”

Condy said the opening of the parkway will not only help Cleburne but also Fossil Rim. He said there would be an increase of visitation to Fossil Rim by a group of young people who wouldn’t normally know about the facility.

“The way we go about it is to entice in [the children] a real interest in wildlife and as long as they have an understanding of the natural world and the way it’s going, that’s good,” Condy said.

Lewis said students from nearby school districts, such as Cleburne, should be visiting Fossil Rim every week. He hopes there can be a collaboration with the school district so that every time a student reached a certain grade level the annual class trip would be to Fossil Rim.

Condy said the experience at Fossil Rim is unlike any other because at a zoo you’re only getting snapshots of one or two animals. At Fossil Rim, you’re viewing animals in herds and in their natural habitat.

“We are trying to promote awareness and promote an interest in nature,” Condy said. “We owe something to nature.”

Within the facility there is a Children’s Animal Center where youngsters can receive hands-on experience with different animals like tortoises, goats, an emu and other exotic birds. Along with visitors, volunteers and interns are also receive a wealth of information.

The facility collaborates with Tarleton State University staff and a lot of their students are interns for Fossil Rim.

“[Our collaboration] covers a broad amount of research projects because they have expertise we don’t have and we have expertise they don’t have, so together we can do great things,” Condy said. “It’s mutually beneficial.”

The center has about 50 volunteers from all ages and they come from all around, especially from Johnson County, Lewis said.

“It’s wonderful to see groups from all around so interested in helping us out,” Lewis said. “One of our volunteers was our youngest tour guide, 12-years-old.”

Lewis said another goal of Fossil Rim is to give back to the community. For the first time, Fossil Rim partnered with A Wish with Wings and Ronald McDonald House to grant children’s wishes. Fossil Rim invited 80 children on Nov. 2 to take a tour of the facility and went to the education center where they interacted with the animals. They also have an annual Dream Day every December where they invite children with life-threatening medical conditions and their families to stay at Fossil Rim. The family receives gifts from the nature store, as well as donations from the community.

Fossil Rim plans to build a new state-of-the-art veterinary clinic and an intern house where professors, researchers and interns can stay together.

Now it’s just a matter of getting the projects funded, Lewis said. Because Fossil Rim is a nonprofit, it relies on donations and visitation fees for revenue.

For information on volunteering, donating, educational programs, staying overnight and more, visit www.fossilrim.org or call 254-897-2960.

Fossil Rim is at 2299 County Road 2008 in Glen Rose.

1
Text Only
Features / Living
  • photo.tif On a roll

    For most of us, Corvettes are something we see rolling past in the fast lane. 

    But April 27, there’ll be a chance to get up close and personal when Burleson’s Lost Oak Winery hosts its annual Vines and Vettes show. 

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • PHOTO1.tif The story of Leonard J. “Big Bear” Beal

    This article first appeared in the Sept. 10, 2006, edition of the Times-Review. The late Leonard J. “Big Bear” Beal of Grandview will be remembered with a museum under construction at the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum on U.S. 67.

    Bear, who lives near Grandview, 83, showed me around his place. Everything he had in storage was once a part of an old-time cabin museum, stagecoach depot, trading post and Indian village he built and operated in Torrance, Calif.

    April 13, 2014 3 Photos

  • C1.jpg That '70s Marriage

    Τwenty years ago they celebrated in Hawaii. But this go around Cleburne couple Gregory and Lorene DeGroat marked March 11’s momentous milestone in their relationship in a low-key manner.

    March 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • B1.jpg Improving the quality of life through art

    Walking into the main entrance of the old J.N. Long Elementary School, the walls of the main hallway are lined with tables filled with different pieces of art ranging from photographs to watercolor paintings.

    March 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • IMG_4401.JPG Improving the quality of life through art

    Walking into the main entrance of the old J.N. Long Elementary School, the walls of the main hallway are lined with tables filled with different pieces of art ranging from photographs to watercolor paintings.

    March 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • PHOTO.tif Jellystone formula for fun: Just add water

    North Texas Jellystone Camp-Resort in Burleson is hoping to make a splash this spring, when workers complete a $1 million water park expansion to its Pirate’s Cove.

    March 9, 2014 5 Photos

  • photo1 Blowing novelist Grey Stone’s cover

    By page three, the hero of “The Lenora Assignment” has received the Congressional Medal of Honor, accepted a secret mission from the U.S. attorney general and  rescued a ship full of child prostitutes. 

    February 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Screen shot 2014-02-10 at 8.07.55 AM.png As I write this letter

    Valentine’s Day and a 1984 general delivery letter, posted on the off chance it would reach its intended recipient, loom large in the story of Burleson husband and wife Johnny and Sandra Green.

    February 9, 2014 6 Photos

  • photo.tif We loved them Yeah Yeah Yeah

    It was shot in black and white because the bigwigs at United Artists didn’t think it worth wasting money to film, the Beatles’ first film, 1964’s “A Hard Day’s Night,” in color. It received the green light in 1963, well before anyone in America knew or cared who they were. It should have been a mess, akin to the teen junk of the Elvis and ’50s rock-‘n’-roll films that preceded it.

    February 2, 2014 6 Photos

  • photo 1.tif Fossil Rim promotes education for a younger generation

    If you travel U.S. 67 to Glen Rose, there is a place that is like the African safari and exotic animals roam freely on 1,800 acres of land — Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.

    January 26, 2014 5 Photos

Front page
Latest CTR Videos
Facebook
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
House Ads
Featured Ads
CTR Sports
Follow us on twitter