Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner
OC Community Resources
OC Parks, Adopt-A-Park
Orange County Zoo
ACTION: What does the volunteer do?
Gayle Fisher has been a volunteer docent with the Orange County Zoo since April 2006, contributing her time, talents and energy so that zoo visitors can gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the plants and animals of the region.
Docent volunteers such as Gayle assist in the Zoo’s Education Department by leading guided tours for school children, assisting with toddler classes and scout groups, conducting story time activities, staffing the Discovery Cart that includes hands-on animal artifacts, and helping with special events such as "Halloween at the Zoo" and "Christmas at the Zoo." In addition, docents provide visitors with an up-close look at reptiles, assist with off-site special events, coordinate children’s craft projects, and much more!
NEED: What community or agency need does the volunteer address?
The OC Zoo focuses on animals and plants native to the southwestern United States. Animals on exhibit include black bears, mountain lions, bald eagle, island foxes, ocelot, red-tailed hawk, great horned owls, coyotes, turkey vultures, coati and more. The zoo also features a barnyard with domestic goats, chevoit sheep, pot-bellied pigs, doves and pheasants.
Gayle’s extensive knowledge of the zoo’s flora and fauna contributes to her success in introducing visitors to small animals and reptiles that inhabit the zoo, in staffing the zoo’s Discovery Cart with its numerous artifacts, and in capturing the interest of community members of all ages and backgrounds who visit the zoo.
IMPACT: What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?
Gayle is an amazing tour guide who enthusiastically shares information, offers educational opportunities and provides hands-on experiences for zoo visitors. Topics covered during Gayle’s tours include habitats, adaptations, feeding habits, and general information about animals native to the southwestern United States. Through Gayle’s knowledge and insight tours can be varied so that they appeal to children of every age. She can be counted on to fill in when help is needed and is always willing to lend a hand with ongoing activities and special events. Gayle is an extremely dedicated volunteer who works well with other volunteers and provides outstanding staff support.
INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteer unique/special?
Gayle has an incredibly positive attitude and enjoys sharing her love of animals and wildlife with everyone she encounters at the OC Zoo. Her commitment to the zoo and its animals is evident as she leads tours, participates in educational programs, and engages visitors in hands-on activities.
Gayle has served as a volunteer docent with the OC Zoo since April 2006 and has contributed more than 600 service hours. She is a pleasure to work with, and her efforts on behalf of the OC Zoo are greatly appreciated and worthy of recognition.
Click here to find out how you can volunteer with the Orange County Zoo.