The High Ore Garden

On November 7th, a team of six 2020 Master Gardener participants assisted the City of Midfield with a beautification project at the popular High Ore Line Trail. For years, the City of Midfield Fire Department was searching for ways to improve a vacant lot next to the fire station, where the High Ore Line Trail…

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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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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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Birmingham Service Corps partners with land trust

For two weeks in June, members from Birmingham Service Corps worked with Freshwater Land Trust to complete trail improvement projects across Birmingham. Birmingham Service Corps enlists Birmingham residents as paid volunteers and connects corps members with local businesses and nonprofits. We were excited to find out that the corps member team leader, Dewayne Marquel, was…

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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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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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Geocaching: A Real-Life, Backyard Treasure Hunt

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we are encouraging everyone to get outside as much as safely possible. If you are looking for new outdoor activity to try, consider geocaching! Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game, enjoyed by people all around the world. Participants use GPS-enabled devices (like smartphones) to follow coordinates to a hidden “geocache.”…

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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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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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"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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Now Open: High Ore Line Trail to Red Mountain Park

Birmingham’s three-mile High Ore Line Trail is now complete and open to the public! High Ore Line Trail starts in Midfield at Jefferson County Western Health Center and runs three miles along an old railroad line where it ties into Red Mountain Park’s new entrance and parking lot on Venice Road. The trail is mostly…

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Photos: New trail in Gardendale

On June 12, the Five Mile Creek District opened a new trail in Gardendale! You can now walk, run, and bike eleven miles round trip between Gardendale and Fultondale on a flat, crushed gravel trail with trail heads at Black Creek Park, Shady Grove Road, Fieldstown Road, and Jew Hollow Road. For more details, check…

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Adopt-a-Trail: Birmingham Ultra Trail Society (BUTS)

We’re thrilled that the Birmingham Ultra Trail Society (BUTS) has adopted Boulder Canyon Loop in Vestavia! This one-mile loop trail winds through a picturesque canyon cut by Patton Creek with parking available at Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest and Vestavia Hills Elementary School Center. Members from the trail society have completed several workdays this…

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District purchases rail corridor, opens new trail

Five Mile Creek District purchases 16.5 miles of rail corridor, opens new trail in Gardendale FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALABAMA – A new recreational trail is open in Gardendale, adding two miles to Five Mile Creek Greenway in north Jefferson County. In July 2018, the Five Mile Creek District purchased 16.5 miles of rail…

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Adopt-a-Trail: Homewood High School

We are thrilled that Homewood High School’s Environmental Club has adopted one mile of Shades Creek Greenway!  Student volunteers completed their first workday in the fall and will continue weekly trail maintenance efforts throughout 2019. Environmental club sponsor Melonie McBrayer answered a few questions about the club and Homewood High School’s commitment to giving back…

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Adopt-a-Trail

In January 2018, we launched our Adopt-a-Trail program, a volunteer initiative supporting Red Rock Trail System. Volunteer groups take care of their adopted trail by removing litter, raking leaves, pruning and weeding, and performing other light maintenance tasks. Groups also have the opportunity to lead beautification, art, or planting projects. Adopting a trail is a fantastic…

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Adopt-a-Trail: Rotary Club of Birmingham

We are excited to announce The Rotary Club of Birmingham has joined our Adopt-a-Trail program! Volunteers will work on Rotary Trail every few months, and twice a year the trail will be maintained by their contracted partner, Blackjack Landscaping. “The Rotary Club of Birmingham recently signed up through the FLT’s Adopt-A-Trail to adopt The Rotary Trail. This…

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Announcing Our 2018 Corporate Partners

On December 7, Freshwater Land Trust celebrated our 2018 Corporate Partners for Conservation. These organizations believe that land and water conservation and outdoor recreation can transform Alabama, and they provide the critical leadership and funding that allow Freshwater Land Trust to protect wildlife habitat, improve water quality, and create trails and nature preserves for our communities. We could not do this important work…

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Adopt-a-Trail: ROAM Projects

We are excited to announce our new Adopt-a-Trail partnership with ROAM Projects, a company that promotes and facilitates trail running across the U.S. and abroad. “We focus on promoting trail running in beautiful places and helping people get there, whether it’s taking a weekend trip or exploring a regional trail system,” said Greg Wingo, owner. Wingo is…

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Adopt-a-Trail: Goodwyn Mills Cawood

We are proud to announce our new Adopt-a-Trail partnership with Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC), an architecture and engineering firm working across the southeastern United States. GMC adopted the Jones Valley Trail on 1st Avenue South. Crystal Shurett, an environmental scientist at GMC, says the company decided to adopt a trail because they believe in playing…

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Partner Spotlight: Chris Boles

Partner Spotlights are conversations with the people who make our work possible. Chris Boles Occupation: Retired Banker Connected to Freshwater Land Trust since: 2016 Favorite form of outdoor exercise: Gardening, because it allows artistic talents to be used freely. If you could be any plant or animal native to Alabama, what would you be? A…

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Adopt-a-Trail: Treeline Expeditions

We are proud to announce our new Adopt-a-Trail partnership with Treeline Expeditions, an eco tour guide service that leads outdoor adventures for teens, adults, and families. Bill Andrews, director and owner of Treeline Expeditions, says the crew decided to adopt a trail because they wanted to give back to the environment and to the community.…

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Partner Spotlight: Derek Conrad Brown

Partner Spotlights are conversations with the people who make our work possible. Derek Conrad Brown Occupation: Management and Workplace Culture Consultant Connected to Freshwater Land Trust since: 2016 Favorite local trail: Rotary Trail, because: 1) It has had a transformative impact, both in changing ugly blight into a beautiful linear park and in fast-starting reinvestment all along the corridor…

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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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Adopt-a-Trail: Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust

We are proud to announce our new partnership with the Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust (DH-SCLT). The DH-SCLT is the first community organization to volunteer for the Freshwater Land Trust’s Adopt-a-Trail program, a new initiative to support the Red Rock Trail System. “The Freshwater Land Trust is thrilled to partner with the Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community…

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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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Kiwanis Breaks Ground on New Park and Vulcan Trail

We are excited to announce that last Friday, May 19, 2017, the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham broke ground on their Centennial Park/Vulcan Trail project. This $4.6 million investment will reconnect Vulcan Park and Museum to downtown Birmingham, both visually and physically, through a new park, a new trail, and a new lighting system on Birmingham’s iconic…

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Workday with Vulcan Materials at McCallum Park

In the early morning sunrise over Vestavia Hills, McCallum Park was bustling. Trucks and cars filled the red rock parking lot. On one end sat a mountain of gravel; on the lawn across the lot, a Ford F150 pickup and a Ford Taurus. This was the scene on July 14, when teams from the Freshwater…

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20 Champions: Bishop Johnson

Behind Faith Apostolic Church in Powderly, a neighborhood southwest of downtown Birmingham, weaves a peaceful gravel and rock path. This path leads to a concealed spring that houses the endangered watercress darter, a tiny, colorful fish found exclusively in five Jefferson County springs. After Dr. Mike Howell, who discovered the fish in 1964, found it…

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20 Projects: Rotary Trail

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. During Birmingham’s industrial age, railroad tracks once…

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20 Champions: Holli Watts

As we celebrate our 20th anniversary at the Freshwater Land Trust, we’re taking time to reflect on our past success stories, while also looking to the future as we take a step into the next era of conservation. Over the course of the next few months, we’ll give you interviews with the Land Trust’s leadership,…

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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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REACH Birmingham

Poor nutrition, physical inactivity, poverty—these are all factors contributing to dangerous chronic diseases and the largest health disparities in underserved Birmingham communities. The Freshwater Land Trust is working to combat these health disparities by joining forces with several local organizations as part of “Birmingham REACH for better health.”   What is REACH? “Birmingham REACH for…

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Rotary Honored

Rotary Club of Birm­ing­ham Hon­ored as Water Con­ser­va­tion­ist of the Year by AWF The cel­e­bra­tion of the Governor’s Con­ser­va­tion Achieve­ment Awards continues! While the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust brought home the AWF Con­ser­va­tion Orga­ni­za­tion of the Year Award, the Rotary Club of Birm­ing­ham was also hon­ored as Water Con­ser­va­tion­ist of the Year Award for their out­stand­ing efforts with the…

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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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