On November 28th, 2017 Oatland Island Wildlife Center lost one of its beloved volunteers, Paul Rowland.
Paul was a staple at Oatland's Visitors Center, as well as usually being the first face that many of us saw at the various events.
"I worked closely with Paul with Toddler Tuesday (TT). He was such a joy to be around. He had such a pleasant and playful spirit, he was always going the extra mile to learn the names of the adults and children that came to Toddler Tuesday." said Oatland Island's Michelle Kelly .
He was always finding ways to help Oatland Island be at its very best. He stepped in countless times to help repair items on the grounds and he even used his connections in the area to procure a free machine from Livingood's when Animal Care's broke down.
Amy Mark took her children to TT quite often before they moved away and said Paul “was definitely a joy to see every week. And he truly cared for the kids. You could see the joy in his eye every time the kids would show him what they made. He always opened the door for me when I had the stroller and always so welcoming.”
I will always remember how he used to kneel down to my children's level and engage with them. They loved looking at the snakes together and he'd tell us their names. Every time we go to Oatland now, my daughter makes a beeline for Bella and is so excited because she knows their names and that's all because of Paul.
Our thoughts go out to his wife of 53 years, Judy, as well as his children and grandchildren.
Paul's infectious smile and beloved personality will be greatly missed by all of us at Oatland.