The Children’s Animal Center at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is in the running for a $250,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project and your votes are needed this month to help the center win the money.

Pepsi is giving away $1.3 million each month this year to individuals, organizations and groups with ideas to help others and improve the environment or community. The CAC is competing against 300 other ideas for the money. The top two ideas with the most votes on the project’s Web site receive the grant.

Voting opened Monday and will continue through Jan. 31. To vote and get more information, go to www.refresheverything.com/fossilrimcac.

If it’s chosen, the CAC plans to use the funds to make the center a “more interactive and educational area.” It wants to redo its existing barn, build an animal-only barn and create garden walkways around the center.

“If we do get this grant, it will have a positive effect not only on Fossil Rim, but also on Glen Rose,” Children’s Animal Center Supervisor Kati Shedd said. “With this money and redoing the entire barn, the CAC will pretty much become a new exhibit, which will bring many more people out here, increasing tourism in Glen Rose.”

Keeping the CAC’s idea on the national Pepsi Refresh “leader board” also advertises Fossil Rim and shows it’s located in Glen Rose, she added, hopefully drawing more interest to the town.

“Needless to say, we need all the votes we can get,” Shedd sad.

Voting also can be done from a cell phone by texting 105596 to Pepsi (73774). It doesn’t require logging in on a computer and you can vote from your cell phone even it you voted online that day.

The CAC reopened last month after an extensive renovation. Its goats, pot-belly pigs and Einstein the emu are back and soon the aviaries will be completed so birds, including some of Fossil Rim’s endangered Texas Attwater’s Prairie Chickens, will have spacious new homes.

That part of the project was funded with a grant from Texas Parks & Wildlife that was matched with volunteer hours.

The Pepsi Refresh grant would help the CAC continue to help animals by showing children — and adults — the value of conservation and preserving wildlife for future generations. Not to mention helping Glen Rose.

“This is a great way to start the New Year off right by doing good for your community in a very simple way,” Shedd said.