We feel that we can offer students positive and practical experience in the areas they are passionate about, while at the same time making what we offer to the surrounding communities stronger and more enjoyable. Right now, it would most likely not be a paid position, but that could definitely change in the future. Because it is not a paid position we are also not expecting “x” number of hours to worked in a week. On top of that, some of these things could even be worked on from home and you would not have to be onsite all the time.
Marketing – Honestly we have not done a lot of marketing other than social media and would love to see ideas on an overall marketing plan, what marketing avenues are best for our type of business, what avenues are best for reaching each of the different generations, how can we maximize cross-promoting and upselling, and any other thoughts or ideas that may come out of this.
Digital Media – This would in part tie in with marketing, but specifically targeting our website www.aikmanwildlife.com which is a wordpress site. Things we would be looking at would be overall updates to the site, how can we make it more user friendly especially on mobile devices, how can we better tie it in with all aspects of social media, how can we better use it as a selling tool, and any other thoughts or ideas that may come out of this.
Video Production – The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million” is definitely true in our business. We have tons of ideas for short videos around the park and even taking it a step further with ideas for short 5-15 minute “episodes” that we can use on our youtube channel and elsewhere. We have even talked about doing short animal-care videos for education. We have so many thoughts/ideas on this and realize there are also tons of things we have not even thought about and would be open to discussing and looking into.
Renewable Energy – We would love to pursue shrinking our carbon overall footprint, seeing what monthly recurring utility costs or other costs could be reduced, the best way to implement a park wide recycling program, researching/applying for grants for implementing renewable and sustainable programs, and any other thoughts or ideas that may come out of this.
Law Enforcement / Emergency Response – We have a decent start to our Emergency Preparedness and Response plan, but would like to get it finalized. Our county has said they want to incorporate it into the county wide plan, which is huge for us. We would also be determining what “practicing” of the plan implementation looks like.
Event Planning – Each fall our non-profit, SABLE, hosts its annual fundraising banquet called A Toast to Wildlife. 2019’s date is Saturday, Oct. 5 and I am kind of the one-man show behind it. We feel this would be a great event to give students some experience in planning a fundraising type of event, and make it even better than last years with having additional people involved. We have also talked about doing a fall festival fundraiser that would be for the whole family and not just 18+ year old’s. We also do events at our park for Easter, Halloween and Christmas that we could always use help with new ideas and implementation.
Animal Care – We have a little over 200 animals at the park comprised of about 70 different species. As you can imagine there is always something to be done with the animals such as diet prep, cleaning, feeding, researching and implementing enrichment items for them, propping habitats with limbs, logs and other items, as well as routine vet care. We would also potentially have a need for help with smaller animal encounters when we are open to the public.
Horticulture – We have been doing our landscaping in phases each spring. This spring is no different and we will be deciding what the next phase looks like and implementing it. On top of our landscaping we are also always thinking about what types of grasses and plants do the best in each of our different habitats, as well as determining what browse is safe for our animals. We have tons of different species of trees at the park and would love to have a lot of them identified as well.
Other – We know the areas listed above are some of our main areas, but definitely not all of them. If you feel you can help make our park better for our surrounding communities and our guests in another area, please let us know what you have in mind.