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Bob and Ann Tate have walked the woods of Alabama for as long as they can remem­ber. Bob and Ann are long-time wild­flower and bird enthu­si­asts and have both served as Pres­i­dents of the Birm­ing­ham Audubon Soci­ety and Alabama Wild­flower Soci­ety. Bob has also served as Pres­i­dent of the Cahaba River Society.

So, sev­eral years ago, when they were shown 14 acres of beau­ti­ful prop­erty cov­ered with wild­flow­ers on the Cahaba River, they decided they had to have it.

After their two sons grew up and moved out of state, Bob and Ann built a house on that very same prop­erty, peace­fully nes­tled in the mid­dle of the woods.

Over the years, their love for the prop­erty and all its  mem­o­ries brought them to a point where they wanted to ensure that no one would ever build any other struc­tures that might destroy the beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings on their spe­cial place in the woods. With sav­ing habi­tat for the birds and wild­flow­ers in mind, they decided to donate an ease­ment to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust to save the prop­erty forever.

This was not the Tate’s first encounter with the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, however.

Before 1990, Bob worked as the attor­ney for the Cahaba River Soci­ety, the orga­ni­za­tion that helped win the sewer suit against Jef­fer­son County that ini­tially cre­ated the Black War­rior and Cahaba Land Trust, now the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust (FWLT). Bob wanted a non­profit that, through ease­ments, could pro­tect the Cahaba for­ever. Con­se­quently, he was instru­men­tal in the found­ing of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust. Bob knew Wendy Jack­son before FWLT was cre­ated, and when she was selected as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, he said, “Our prob­lems are solved.”

Then lead­ing the way, in 2004, Bob and Ann put their land near the Cahaba in a con­ser­va­tion easement. Subsequently, they have given fund­ing for stew­ard­ship endow­ment and have been con­trib­u­tors to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust annu­ally since 2004.

When asked how all of this really hap­pened, Bob says, “I blame Ann for this, she got me involved with the Wild­flower and Audubon Societies.”

As a for­mer lit­i­ga­tion attor­ney, Bob says, “I’m now the good kind of lawyer—retired.”

But Bob and Ann have retired in a beau­ti­ful place that is secured by them for­ever. It has been a long jour­ney to this point, but the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is so grate­ful to both of them for not only play­ing a vital role in help­ing to cre­ate the land trust, but also for their con­tin­u­ous sup­port through­out the years.

Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Wendy Jack­son con­firms, “Bob and Ann Tate are leg­ends in the envi­ron­men­tal com­mu­nity. They exem­plify peo­ple whose lives have truly made a dif­fer­ence, and I am hon­ored to know them and call them friends!”

Thank you Bob and Ann for all you have done and con­tinue to do to sup­port the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust!

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