The Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) is a natural treasure in the greater Houston area, offering visitors an opportunity to reconnect with nature across its 2,500 acres of wetlands forest that’s home to more than 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. It depends on community support to preserve the preserve.

That’s why more than 30 Shell Deer Park Chemicals volunteers spent Friday, April 14, at ABNC, executing an ambitious plan to make repairs to fencing, gates, ramps, buildings and trim vegetation. “Shell Day, as we refer to it at ABNC, has been a tradition for many years. Shell does critically important work that would likely take us a year to complete with just the ABNC staff,” ABNC Executive Director Tim Pylate said. “But that’s not the only reason we love Shell Day – we get to work alongside our Shell ‘family’ as they give so generously of their time, treasure and talent.”

Preparation and partnerships

In the days leading up to the event, Shell Deer Park teamed up with construction services provider Turner Industries to erect scaffolding and prepare the site for Friday’s activities. Other sponsoring companies included:

“Shell is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate and respecting nature is one of our core values, so supporting the Armond Bayou Nature Center is a no-brainer,” Shell Deer Park Maintenance, Turnaround, and Construction (MTAC) Manager Christopher Daniels said. “The relationship between Shell Deer Park and ABNC goes back many years and Deer Park Chemicals is continuing that tradition. As an avid outdoorsman, I have a special appreciation for nature and the natural habitats that allow me to indulge in the activities I love. I see volunteering as a small way of fulfilling the personal responsibility I have to give back.”

Non-Routine Maintenance Supervisor Will Turney and Turnaround Supervisor Larry Bridwell – who served on the event planning committee with Rhonda Chapmon, Anahi Mendoza and Jimmy Soliz – report that the day went well and all planned repairs were made along with some additional tasks. “There was a lot of enthusiasm from all of the volunteers, which has been a tradition for this day,” Turney said. Bridwell noted that a safety briefing at the start of the day helped ensure there were no incidents and everything went smoothly.