Letter from Our Executive Director

August 26, 2020 Dear FLT Community, Last July, I started my position as Executive Director of Freshwater Land Trust (FLT), and it has been a wonderful first year. I would like to thank our board of directors, junior board, staff, partners, and supporters for their warm and engaging welcome. As you can see from the…

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Freshwater Land Trust receives accreditation renewal

We are excited to share that the Land Trust Accreditation Commission has renewed Freshwater Land Trust’s accreditation! Land trust accreditation promotes nation-wide quality standards for land trusts and land conservation. We are part of 443 land trusts across the country that have received the accreditation mark of distinction. Together, these land trusts have conserved millions…

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Five new litter gitters installed across four cities

Freshwater Land Trust is excited to officially launch Project Litter Gitter and install five new litter gitter devices in conjunction with the EPA’s Trash-Free Waters grant, recently awarded to Freshwater Land Trust and partners. The five new devices are located across four municipalities: one each in Bessemer, Homewood, and Vestavia Hills and two in Birmingham.…

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Homewood installs “litter gitter” in Griffin Brook 

The City of Homewood installed a “litter gitter” device in Griffin Brook today near the intersection of Broadway Street and Redfern Street.   Homewood is working with Osprey Initiative, Freshwater Land Trust, and the Cahaba Riverkeeper to create a plan for cleaner local waterways.   Litter gitters are in-stream trash collection devices used to intercept floating litter from stormwater runoff. In addition to installing and…

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Now Hiring: Land Stewardship Director

Freshwater Land Trust is accepting applications for its Land Stewardship Director position. The successful candidate will lead the implementation of land conservation strategies on over 7,000 acres of fee-owned preserves and conservation easements and assist partners with the implementation of management strategies on properties not owned by FLT. The Land Stewardship Director will primarily work…

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Jeffrey Drummond accepts position with U.S. Fish and Wildlife

We are both excited and sad to share that Stewardship Director Jeffrey Drummond is leaving Freshwater Land Trust to accept a biologist position with U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Partners Program. In the past three years, Jeffrey has gone above and beyond to mature and grow our stewardship program, from annual property monitoring to innovative, high-impact restoration work…

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Freshwater Land Trust awarded EPA’s Trash-Free Waters grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2020 BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – Freshwater Land Trust and partners were recently awarded a $500,000 project grant over three years from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Trash-Free Waters program. Freshwater Land Trust is one of seventeen recipients and one of three recipients located in Alabama. The major goals of the funded project are to remove…

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800 trees planted along Turkey Creek

For the past several years, Freshwater Land Trust has led stewardship projects along Jefferson County’s Turkey Creek in an effort to improve water quality and endangered species habitat. Past projects include a dam removal and a culvert replacement, both which made it easier for endangered darter species to move upstream during their reproductive seasons. This…

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Data released from Litter Gitter pilot project

In December 2019, Osprey Initiative installed a Litter Gitter device at the headwaters of Valley Creek in downtown Birmingham as a pilot project. The adjustable device intercepts floating litter from stormwater runoff. We are excited to report the data from the three-month pilot period: December 5-31, 2019: A total of 37.98 pounds / 49.5 cubic…

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108 acres conserved in Blount County

In December, a generous landowner donated a 108-acre conservation easement to Freshwater Land Trust. Located in Blount County in the Black Warrior River Basin, the easement includes rolling hills with beautiful rock outcrops, shallow groundwater and springs, diverse forest, and an abundance of wildlife. The easement is part of 3,700 acres managed by Freshwater Land…

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"Litter Gitter" installed in Valley Creek

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA — Osprey Initiative, in partnership with River Network, Freshwater Land Trust, and the City of Birmingham, has installed an in-stream litter collection device in Valley Creek. The device, called a “Litter Gitter,” is located at the headwaters of Valley Creek in Birmingham and will intercept floating litter from stormwater runoff. Don Bates, owner…

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Culvert replaced, rush darter habitat improved at Turkey Creek

This fall, Freshwater Land Trust replaced two culverts near a Turkey Creek tributary with the goal of improving endangered species habitat, decreasing erosion, and improving overall water quality in the creek. The project began after biologist Bernie Kuhajda observed an endangered rush darter in the tributary during a 2018 bioblitz. Dr. Kuhajda and other scientists…

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October 17: Continuing Education Seminar

Flora, Fauna, and Flow: Environmental and Legal Issues and What You Need To Know Join Freshwater Land Trust, Bradley, and a diversity of environmental, real estate, and legal experts as we discuss issues surrounding land, water, and wildlife conservation in Alabama and beyond. Speakers will include experts from U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Alabama Forestry…

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October 18: Endangered Species Tour

On Friday, October 18, Freshwater Land Trust and Alabama Tree Farms are hosting the second-annual Endangered Species Tour, highlighting locations across Jefferson County where endangered species have been protected. Through this event, we hope to give landowners and other conservation-minded stakeholders an opportunity to connect and learn more about the work being done to protect…

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Land Monitoring in the Springtime

As a land trust, one of our core responsibilities is monitoring our conservation properties every year. When we monitor, we’re checking that the land and surrounding ecosystems are healthy and undisturbed. We take photos, make maps, and note down any changes or causes for concern. This spring stewardship director Jeffrey Drummond and board member Dr.…

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Job Opportunity: Land Stewardship Fellow

Position: Land Stewardship Fellow Location: Birmingham, AL Job Category: Temporary/Seasonal Position – 12 months Salary: $1,600/month stipend, 32 hours/week Start Date: 08/01/2019 Application Deadline: 06/01/2019 Freshwater Land Trust is looking for a passionate recent graduate to fill a one year fellowship position that begins on August 1, 2019 and runs through July 31, 2020. This…

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Before & After: Spring Cleaning for Darter Habitat

Birmingham’s Roebuck Springs, home to the endangered watercress darter, is looking especially good after an intensive effort to remove invasive plants and undergrowth! Now, more sunlight will be able to reach plants living in the spring, creating a healthier habitat for the fish. To learn more about the spring habitat, read “Endangered darter’s habitat in…

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155 Acres Conserved in Shelby County

In December, Grady and Dianne Swicord donated a 155-acre conservation easement to Freshwater Land Trust. The Swicord easement is located on Coosa Mountain in Shelby County. Home to a healthy, diverse forest, the land provides wildlife habitat, beautiful views, and water quality protection in the Coosa and Cahaba watersheds. The Swicords join a growing community of…

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Endangered Species Tour: Video & Photos

On Friday, October 12, Freshwater Land Trust and U.S. Fish and Wildlife hosted an all-day endangered species tour, highlighting six Jefferson County locations, stretching from Bessemer to Pinson, where endangered species have been protected. Through this event, we hoped to give conservation-minded stakeholders an opportunity to connect and learn more about the work being done…

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Roebuck Springs restoration complete

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Freshwater Land Trust has completed its habitat restoration project at Roebuck Springs in Don Hawkins Park, in partnership with the City of Birmingham and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Roebuck Springs is home to the watercress darter, a federally-endangered fish found only in Jefferson County. Roebuck Springs is one of six places…

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Wildwood Preserve

Our Wildwood Preserve is now open to the public! The 51 acre nature preserve is nestled between I-65 and Shades Creek and is home to a variety of native wildflowers as well as marbled and spotted salamanders. The nature trail is approximately 0.5 miles long, one way, with a moderately difficult incline on the return leg.…

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New Selma Dixon mitigation bank

In February, the Freshwater Land Trust closed on a conservation easement on a new mitigation bank in Dallas County, Alabama, in partnership with Goodwyn Mills and Cawood (GMC). As holder of the easement, the Freshwater Land Trust will protect the property in perpetuity, monitoring the land each year, consulting on future restoration projects, and working…

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Nine New Acres Conserved in Trussville

In late December, Dennis and Dianne Dempsey donated a nine-acre conservation easement on their property in Trussville, Alabama to the Freshwater Land Trust. The Dempseys join a growing community of landowners in Alabama and across the nation who are committed to preserving our natural environment, our beautiful woods, rivers, and landscapes, and our outdoor ways of life.…

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20 Species: Confederate Daisy

High on the secluded ridges of the Freshwater Land Trust’s private preserve on Double Oak Mountain, towering over suburban Shelby County, grows a hardy and rare flower. Sprouting from its sandstone outcrops, its yellow petals bloom in brilliant bursts of color against the opaque surfaces of the surrounding rocks. This flower is the Confederate daisy. Native to…

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20 Projects: Village Creek

At the Freshwater Land Trust, we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary of helping preserve and conserve the landscape of central Alabama. Over the next few months, we’ll give you in-depth looks into some of our most prominent projects, from downtown Birmingham to rural Blount County and everywhere in between. From its humble headwaters outside the eastern…

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20 Species: Pygmy Sculpin

Alabama’s biological diversity is frequently cited as one of the best in the nation. However, within that diversity, there are a few select species that make their home in Alabama, and in Alabama alone. One of these species resides in Coldwater Spring near the city of Anniston, rendering it in a way Calhoun County’s smallest…

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20 Species: Rough Hornsnail

In the currents of the Lower Coosa River and Shelby County’s Yellow Leaf Creek, there is a small but sharp species making its way through the water. It’s a species all its own, completely unique from all other members of its genus. It has spike-like nodules within the spiral on its pyramid-like shell, with a…

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20 Projects: Tapawingo Springs

At the Freshwater Land Trust, we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary of helping preserve and conserve the landscape of central Alabama. Over the next few months, we’ll give you in-depth looks into some of our most prominent projects, from downtown Birmingham to rural Blount County and everywhere in between. In a secluded swampland off Tapawingo Road,…

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20 Projects: Double Oak Mountain

At the Freshwater Land Trust, we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary of helping preserve and conserve the landscape of central Alabama. Over the next few months, we’ll give you in-depth looks into some of our most prominent projects, from downtown Birmingham to rural Blount County and everywhere in between. Rising steeply above the central Alabama landscape…

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20 Species: Cahaba Shiner

Free-flowing for 194 miles through the state of Alabama – the last river of its kind in the state – the Cahaba River plays home to a diverse population of various species. One of these species is an olive and silver fish that takes part of its name from its watery home: the Cahaba shiner.…

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20 Species: Black Warrior Waterdog

While it’s also referred to as a “mud puppy,” the Black Warrior waterdog is canine in name only. Rather, it’s a current candidate for the federal endangered species list that calls various forks of the upper Black Warrior River drainage home. Spread out over Blount, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston counties in central Alabama, the Black…

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The Locust Fork Mitigation Bank

Northeast of the city of Birmingham in the rolling farmlands of Blount County, big days are ahead for a 111-acre swath of land in the Locust Fork Watershed. A new cooperative project between Westervelt Ecological Services and the Freshwater Land Trust, the Locust Fork mitigation bank will restore and rehabilitate this stretch of land in…

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20 Species: The Rush Darter

In the Tombigbee-Black Warrior drainage in central Alabama lives one special little fish that calls three central Alabama watersheds and their cool, clear, shallow freshwater streams home. The rush darter (etheostoma phytophilum) can only be found in the Turkey Creek, Cove Creek and Clear Creek watersheds within Alabama’s Jefferson, Etowah and Winston counties, respectively. Once…

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20 Species: Flattened Musk Turtle

At the Freshwater Land Trust, we protect more than just water and land; we protect many different species: plants and animals alike. In our 20th year, we are recognizing 20 species that we have protected and continue to protect today. One of those species is the flattened musk turtle. The flattened musk turtle (Sternotherus depressus)…

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20 Species Worth Saving – The Cave Salamander

The brilliant orange color with black spots from head to tail makes the cave salamander a memorable species. Typically found in limestone caves, around natural springs or around rocky outcrops, cave salamanders have wide and flat heads, large eyes and long prehensile tails that give them exceptional balance when climbing about their rocky habitats. Their…

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20 Species Worth Saving – The Vermillion Darter

At the Freshwater Land Trust, we work to not only save greenspaces, but also save the natural habitats located on or around those greenspaces. Since this is our 20th year of conserving land in Central Alabama, we are celebrating 20 species whose habitats have been preserved over the past 20 years. First… the Vermillion darter…

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Double Oak Mountain Acquisition

Two miles of ridgeline on Double Oak Mountain preserved forever. BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—For more than 60 years, Double Oak Mountain has represented a family’s legacy. Over the years, this family watched as dirt roads turned to asphalt and pine forests turned to brick homes. Although the mountain was changing in front of their eyes, their legacy…

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Conserving the Cahaba

JAMES & OLIVIA HOWARD DONATE CAHABA RIVER PROPERTY TO FRESHWATER LAND TRUST Preserving a Way of Life At the Freshwater Land trust, we believe conservation work is more than preserving the natural environment—we believe it’s about preserving a way of life. Our priority is to honor the relationship between a family and its land, so…

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Partner Happenings

Father Nature Land­scapes, one of our Cor­po­rate Part­ners for Con­ser­va­tion, recently revis­ited Turkey Creek for the final round of plant­i­ngs on the newly formed stream­bank fol­low­ing our removal of Old Shadow Lake Dam. Daniel McCurry and his crew at Father Nature have worked tire­lessly on this dif­fi­cult project, and will have planted nearly 100 native plants and trees…

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Donor Spotlight

BOB AND ANN TATE: MAK­ING A DIF­FER­ENCE TODAY AND FOREVER 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…

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UPCOMING: Freshwater Land Trust Half Marathon & 5k on Saturday, April 24th