Wild Birds Unlimited contributes to city parks
Dripping Springs family business “Wild Birds Unlimited” presented a donation of over $916 to the City of Dripping Springs to benefit wild bird habitat and observation stations in Charro Ranch Park and DS Ranch Park. On Oct. 8 at their City Hall meeting, the DS City Council formally accepted the amount from WBU family members Manuel Pena, Anna Pena, and Amanda Pena Bustillos.
“We feel so grateful that our customers have supported our family's business the way they have for the past two years! Because of them, we are able to give back to our hometown. We hope this donation will make a difference at Charro Park and the new bird blind at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park,” said Amanda in a statement to the Century News.
Manuel and Anna Penas moved to Dripping Springs nearly 35 years ago, when it was chiefly a ranch town, and this is where their daughter, Amanda, grew up. After Manuel’s retirement from 30 years of service with the Austin Police Department, the area had developed quite a bit, so the family decided it was time to turn their dream of a hometown business into a reality. Feeding birds together was a favorite activity, so the Penas, along with Amanda’s husband Hector Bustillos, and young daughter Camila (plus two family-embraced employees, Jaci and Ann) opened their “Wild Birds Unlimited” bird feed supply franchise two years ago, on Sept. 14, 2017.
A year later, they proudly celebrated the store’s first anniversary by donating 10% of the weekend sales to the City for the benefit of Dripping’s city parks. “And we were very excited to do it again this year on our 2nd anniversary!” Amanda said of the 2019 donation.
“Last year, we were honored when the City of Dripping Springs proclaimed October 9, 2018, "Wild Birds Unlimited of Dripping Springs Day,"
Amanda said. “We were honored again in February of this year when the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce gave us the award for "Outstanding Customer Service." And also in June of this year, we found out that we had the third most improved “Wild Birds Unlimited” store in the entire franchise of 300 plus stores. We feel very blessed and we give credit our wonderful customers and community. We couldn't have done well without their love, support and generosity.”
The family’s high regard for their customers is reflected in providing them with the best quality feeding supplies and service. They share a strong commitment to the natural Texas Hill Country environment with those who care about conserving it.
“Dripping Springs and the surrounding areas are by far one of the greatest places to watch birds!” But there is rapid development in our area, so Amanda feels it is important that residents consider helping wild birds, who call the Texas Hill Country home, survive the changing landscape.
“Our daily goal is to educate our customers on how to keep birds safe here in our community, especially after the recent headlining news that 2.9 billion birds have disappeared since 1970 worldwide,” Amanda said. “There are things that each of us can do to help improve the safety and health of wild birds. Planting native plants, making windows safe, keeping cats indoors and avoiding use of pesticides [and rodent poisons] are just a few ways that we can help the birds survive.”
Community awareness of wild birds has become the family’s mission, and they hope that the joy of bird feeding and bird watching brings people and nature together. “From awaiting the first arrival of "our" Purple Martin colony in the spring, to greeting our first Bluebird or Painted Bunting of the season, and the daily pleasure of caring for our local favorites who never leave us... this is a joy we share with our customers.”
They have worked closely with the Hays County Master Naturalists on both bird observation stations in the area: Charro Park and DS Ranch Park. Manuel often attends Charro Park work days and has helped the Hays County Master Naturalists build the new bird station at DS Ranch Park, where the family donated and installed an aerial feeding station.
“Our hope is to see each and every one of our neighbors, no matter their age, caring for the birds in their backyards and experiencing the joy that we've experienced. We hope our community will visit the local parks and enjoy the amazing bird watching stations for many years to come!”
“Wild Birds Unlimited” is located in Shops in the Springs, East Hwy 290, in Dripping Springs.