Join us as a Freshwater Fan!

If you value beautiful forests, clean water, and walkable trails, you are already a fan of what we do. Why not make it official? As a Freshwater Fan, you will provide critical support for conservation and outdoor recreation throughout Central Alabama.…

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Jerry Lanning receives L. Burton Barnes, III, Public Service Award

Freshwater Land Trust is proud to announce that our own Jerry Lanning, FLT’s Vice President and General Counsel, is this year’s recipient of the Birmingham Bar Association’s L. Burton Barnes, III, Public Service Award. Freshwater Land Trust nominated Jerry for this prestigious award to honor the twenty-four years of pro bono work he has done for the organization. “Jerry has…

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December 2020: COVID-19 Notice

December 14, 2020 Freshwater Land Trust is continuing to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely. Staff members are presently working either remotely or from the office on a rotating, voluntary schedule with limitations to outside visitors and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year. Please do not visit our office without…

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Litter Gitters installed in Trussville and Brighton

On December 8th, two litter gitter trash capture devices were installed in creeks in the cities of Trussville and Brighton, thanks to generous funding from the Jefferson County Department of Health. Over the past year, Freshwater Land Trust, a Birmingham-based nonprofit, and Osprey Initiative, LLC, the designer of the litter gitter devices, have been installing these devices throughout Jefferson County, in conjunction with partnerships with various organizations and municipalities.…

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Volunteers Enhance Endangered Species Habitat in Bessemer

On Friday, November 20th, Regions Bank volunteers teamed up with the Lakewood Neighborhood Association to enhance endangered species habitat in Bessemer. More than a dozen volunteers worked over five hours to remove privet, an invasive plant species, near Glenn Springs. This spring is one of only a handful of places in the world where the endangered watercress darter lives.…

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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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Walker County Lake, a recreation destination

Walker County Lake, located off I-22 and approximately 10 minutes from Jasper’s Main Street, is one of Central Alabama’s best kept recreational destinations. Offering a variety of activities including fishing, walking trails, picnicking, birding, and archery, Walker County Lake has something for everyone.   The development of Walker County Lake has been a passion project of several organizations…

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Ladies Who Hike Make a Wish

Ladies Who Hike (LWH), a local hiking group for women, is partnering with Make-A-Wish Foundation to benefit children in Alabama. On November 14th, they will complete a 27-mile hike on the Pinhoti Trail in Oxford, AL as a Make-A-Wish fundraiser. “I thought it was a great opportunity benefiting critically ill children in Alabama,” said LWH…

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Freshwater Land Trust welcomes Sam McCoy

We are excited to welcome Sam McCoy as our new Land Stewardship Director! In this role, he will manage FLT’s over 7,500 acres of conservation properties, lead projects with high conservation value, including those that benefit endangered species, and work with many partners to best care for land and water in our region. Sam is…

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Turkey Creek Property Exchange with City of Pinson

On October 15th, Freshwater Land Trust (FLT) and the City of Pinson, in partnership with Birmingham-Southern College’s Southern Environmental Center (BSCSEC), finalized a property exchange involving the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve (TCNP). Through this transaction, FLT gave 28 acres of property within TCNP to the City of Pinson. In exchange, FLT received the 34-acre “Dry Creek” property off Sweeney Hollow Road from the City of Pinson. In recent years, BSCSEC, which operates TCNP, proposed to build a multi-use pavilion within TCNP to raise funds to run TCNP’s education…

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Litter Gitter installed at East Lake Park

On October 1st, a litter gitter trash collection device was installed in Village Creek at East Lake Park. This brings the total to eight litter gitter devices throughout Jefferson County. Through a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation, River Network is partnering with Freshwater Land Trust, Osprey Initiative, and Village Creek Society to manage the East…

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Project Litter Gitter Initial Data

Earlier this summer, Freshwater Land Trust officially launched Project Litter Gitter. Through the EPA’s Trash-Free Waters grant, awarded to Freshwater Land Trust and partners, there are six litter gitter devices in waterways across four municipalities:  one each in Bessemer, Homewood, and Vestavia Hills and three in Birmingham. After being deployed for about two months, we are pleased to…

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Mary Beth Brown leaving Freshwater Land Trust

We are both excited and sad to share the news that our Communications Director, Mary Beth Brown, is leaving Freshwater Land Trust (FLT) to accept a position with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.  In the past three and a half years in her role, Mary Beth has helped elevate the media presence of our organization. Mary Beth was responsible for running…

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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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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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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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Trail extension will connect Rotary Trail to 41st Street

To support Jones Valley Trail Extension, give today or contact our office for more information. Freshwater Land Trust is leading a campaign to raise $1,000,000 to build Jones Valley Trail Extension. Running along 1st Avenue South, this highly-anticipated, multi-use trail will connect downtown Birmingham from Rotary Trail to Avondale’s 41st Street and make many future…

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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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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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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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Trails Less Traveled To Try

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we want you to be able to get outside, to exercise, and to enjoy spring sunshine as often as possible! But even when you are outside, it is important to avoid large groups and remain at least six feet away from others. Luckily, Red Rock Trail System offers dozens of…

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2019 Annual Report

We are excited to share our 2019 Annual Report! Each year, we release an annual report as a brief snapshot of project milestones, finances, and ongoing initiatives. In 2019, we conserved hundreds of acres of land, led impactful stewardship partnerships, opened three new trails, and established strong foundations for future projects. We hope you will…

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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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Land Aid presented by Brasfield & Gorrie

We are excited to announce our 11th annual Land Aid, presented by Brasfield & Gorrie! Join your local land trust for a beautiful September night full of great beer and music. Hailing from the Magic City, the Brummies are headlining this year’s event with special guests Funk You. Friday, September 13 Avondale Brewery (201 41st…

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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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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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A note from Rusha Smith, our new Executive Director

Dear Friends of Freshwater Land Trust, I am thrilled to be Freshwater Land Trust’s new Executive Director. My love of this state and its amazing natural spaces drew me to this special organization, and I am honored that our Board of Directors has chosen me for this position. Alabama is home to me. I was…

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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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Land Trust Accreditation – Public Notice

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Freshwater Land Trust is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land…

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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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Adopt-a-Trail: Sentry Heating & Air

Exciting news: Sentry Heating & Air Conditioning has adopted one mile of Shades Creek Greenway! Also known as Lakeshore Trail, Shades Creek Greenway is 2.6 miles, paralleling Lakeshore Drive and the wooded banks of Shades Creek. “I love that there is always water running in the creek and that it’s a safe and local place…

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Adopt-a-Trail: William Harris

We’re excited to announce that local resident William Harris has adopted Clairmont Avenue Trail! Will adopted a half mile of trail and completed his first workday in February. Here, he shares more about his experience… Favorite Outdoor Places: I use trails to commute, exercise, and just to relax from the hustle and bustle of everyday…

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April 28: Hike at Coalburg Property

On Sunday April 28, join Freshwater Land Trust for a guided hike through our conservation property in Coalburg, home to some of the highest-quality loblolly pine forest in our region! This property runs along Five Mile Creek and features beautiful hardwood bluffs along the waterway. This is a private conservation property, not open to the…

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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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March 10: Hike at Wildwood Preserve

On March 10, join Freshwater Land Trust and Treeline Expeditions for a guided hike through Wildwood Preserve! We will walk about 1.5 miles round trip, with lots of trillium, trout lilies, and red buckeye along the way. Date: Sunday, March 10, 2019 Time: 1:30-4 PM Location: We will meet in the MedHelp parking lot (1…

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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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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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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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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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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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Check out our new online store!

You can now purchase Freshwater Land Trust t-shirts and other items through our online store! Enter Online Store All sales are final and benefit our conservation work in Alabama. You can pick up for FREE at our downtown office or pay a flat fee for shipping within the United States.…

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Land Aid presented by Alabama Power & Greener State

We are excited to announce our 10th annual Land Aid event, presented by Alabama Power & Greener State. Join your local land trust for a fun September night full of good beer and good music. Headlining this year’s concert is Birmingham’s own Will Stewart who recently released his first solo record, County Seat. We’re excited to…

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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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Libba Vaughan leaving the Freshwater Land Trust

Libba Vaughan is leaving the Freshwater Land Trust. She will be joining Leadership Birmingham as their new executive director. “Although we are sad that Libba is leaving the Freshwater Land Trust, we are grateful for her leadership that has positioned this organization for even greater success in the future,” says Robin Wade, chairman of the…

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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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Kiwanis Vulcan Trail: 7,700 visitors since opening

Kiwanis Vulcan Trail opened to the public on March 20, 2018. Since that time, the trail has had at least 7,700 visitors according to our trail counter! Residents, tourists, families, wheelchair users, runners, and others have taken advantage of this fabulous new trail, despite a rainy spring. We can’t wait to see the visitor number…

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2017 Annual Report

We’re excited to share our 2017 annual report! This report is a snapshot of the positive impact individuals like you are making on the health of our woods & rivers and on the vibrancy of our region. In 2018, our team is working hard to conserve 500 new acres of high-priority land, advance the Jones Valley Trail…

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Get your tickets for Too Hot To Hike!

Since 2010, the Freshwater Land Trust has been connecting people to the outdoors through the Red Rock Trail System, Jefferson County’s growing network of trails, parks, and bike lanes. In the spring and fall, we host guided hikes on our trails. But in the summer?  It’s too hot to hike! Join us for our first-ever…

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Magic City Tour: Mother’s Day

By: Libba Vaughan, Executive Director For a girl who grew up in small town Guntersville, Alabama, Birmingham was my New York City. It was a Really. Big. Deal. to visit Birmingham. For years, I thought it was called ”the Magic City” because of the magic I felt when the skyscrapers of Birmingham loomed into view…

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Seeking 2018-19 AmeriCorps Members

The Freshwater Land Trust is seeking two AmeriCorps Members to serve with us for one year beginning in September 2018. We are proud to partner with the YWCA’s Building Communities, Bettering Lives AmeriCorps program in order to make these service opportunities possible. Service Opportunities Red Rock Trail Assistant – full description & application instructions The…

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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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Double Oak Conservation Celebration

Join the Freshwater Land Trust for our Double Oak Conservation Celebration! Event Details: Saturday, May 5, 2018 130 Galway Trail, Birmingham, AL 35242 4-7 PM Tickets: $100 In 2015, with the support of community members throughout Dunnavant Valley and beyond, the Freshwater Land Trust purchased 225 acres of Smyer Ridge on Double Oak Mountain, ensuring…

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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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Now Open: Kiwanis Vulcan Trail

We are proud to announce that Kiwanis Vulcan Trail is open and ready for you to visit! This off-road trail is now 2.2 miles long and connects Vulcan Park & Museum to Green Springs Highway. Kiwanis Vulcan Trail is a new outdoor place where you can walk, run, and ride your bike and it is key for many of…

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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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"Complete Streets" Events

“Complete streets” are streets that are safe and comfortable for everyone, whether you’re walking, cycling, driving, or riding the bus. They are safe for people of all ages and abilities. Complete streets are shared public spaces and are one of the fundamental elements of great urban neighborhoods. They allow people to get to stores, to work, and…

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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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2017 Corporate Partners for Conservation

On December 14, we were proud to celebrate our 2017 Corporate Partners for Conservation. Because of our corporate partners, we are able to conserve land in ways that transform the people and communities of Central Alabama. Thank you to Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and our Board of Directors for hosting this year’s celebration! To learn…

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Sunday Hike Series: 2017 Recap & 2018 Dates

This year, we launched our seasonal Sunday Hike Series, hosting seven hikes and over 200 hundred people! We love sharing our work with friends, family, and supporters, and – most of all – meeting new people and enjoying the great Alabama outdoors. Please join us in 2018! Our hikes are always free and are great opportunities…

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The Wild Feathers to Headline 9th Annual Land Aid

We are excited to announce our 9th annual Land Aid event! Headlining this year’s concert is acclaimed American rock band The Wild Feathers, supported by two Nashville-based bands The Delta Saints and David Borné. Friday, September 15 at Avondale Brewery Doors 6:30 PM / Music 7:15 PM $20 in advance and at the door Tickets…

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Staff Q&A: Farewell to Lacy & Charles

For the past year, Lacy Kamber and Charles Miller have served with us as Americorps VISTA members. They have been an integral part of our team during an exciting year of transition and growth. Both Lacy and Charles have challenged us and made our work stronger and more effective (and left us with much better…

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New Staff Q&A: Mary Beth Brown

Last month, Mary Beth Brown joined the Freshwater Land Trust as our new Director of Communications! Mary Beth is an Alabama native and a graduate of Auburn University. After working in London for three years, she returned to her home state and transitioned from finance to nonprofit communications and development. We sat down and asked her…

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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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2017 Board of Directors

The Freshwater Land Trust is excited to welcome three new members to our Board of Directors this year: Thomas N. Carruthers, III Principal Owner Red Rock Realty Group Tom has an extensive background in commercial and residential real estate which began in 1986. He formed Carruthers Real Estate Company in 2001 and, in partnership with…

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Freshwater Land Trust Hike Series

The Freshwater Land Trust is excited to announce its 2017 Seasonal Hike Series! Throughout the spring and fall seasons, we’re hosting monthly guided hikes so that you can see and learn about the places we’ve helped preserve thanks to your support. No need to RSVP—all you’ll need is your hiking shoes! Invite your friends and…

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Why the Red Rock Trail matters

In 1925, renowned landscape architects Fredrick Law Olmsted, Jr. and John Charles Olmstead designed a plan for Birmingham that included parks within walking distance of every home. A planned network of open green spaces along low-lying creeks and high ridge lines would connect these parks to each other and their surrounding neighborhoods.  Unfortunately, this plan…

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20 for 20 Anniversary Challenge

Make your gift via paypal The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) orga­ni­za­tion there­fore your con­tri­bu­tion is tax deductible. A hiking trail. A fishing hole. A backyard creek. Why do these places matter? What are they worth to you? What if with just $20, you can ensure they are preserved forever? Over the past 20…

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New Staff Q&A: Carolyn Buck

Carolyn Buck recently joined the Freshwater Land Trust team. We sat down with her to find out her plans for the future and learn what she is looking most forward to in her new role. Q: Where are you from? I am a native of Texas and graduated from Baylor University with a degree in…

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Red Rock Tuesday Featuring Zyp Bikeshare Birmingham

Next Tuesday, November 1, we will be featuring Zyp Bikeshare Birmingham at its Smithfield station on our monthly segment of Red Rock Tuesday. Zyp Bikeshare comprises 40 kiosks and 400 bikes across the Birmingham area. This program began in October of 2015 and allows all residents and visitors 24-hour access to bikes every day of…

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Red Rock Tuesday feat. Parks Rx

Next week, October 4, we will be filming our October segment of Red Rock Tuesday featuring Parks Rx. This new program was officially launched by Birmingham REACH for Better Health on September 22. The Parks Prescription program, which is led by the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, is an initiative to increase…

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Norwood Boulevard Blast 5k

This coming Saturday, September 24, the Norwood Resource Center (NRC), a non-profit organization founded as a grassroots initiative, will be hosting its third annual Boulevard Blast 5K and Fun Run/Walk. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Norwood Resource Center and the residents of the Norwood Community. Norwood is a critical connection to the…

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Freshwater Land Trust Welcomes Libba Vaughan

  This is an exciting year at the Freshwater Land Trust as we celebrate our 20th anniversary. Over the past two decades, we’ve accomplished great things for land conservation in Central Alabama through the support of our outstanding partners and supporters. While we continue to expand our footprint and take a step into the next…

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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: Civil Rights Trail

During the Civil Rights Movement, Birmingham, Alabama became the site of history. During the 1963 civil rights campaign, the Alabama metropolis was plunged into the national, televised spotlight as African-Americans, of all ages and genders and led by Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., staged non-violent protests against Birmingham’s segregation codes…

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Q&A: Drew Pendleton

As summer comes to an end, we’re saying, “see you later” to several of our interns. We sat down with Drew Pendleton, our summer PR and communications intern thanks to the Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation, to reflect on his experience with the Freshwater Land Trust. Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned…

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20 Projects: Cosby Lake

Nearly 20 miles northeast of downtown Birmingham lies the city of Clay, Alabama. Part rural community, part Birmingham suburb, the city stretches from the edges of Center Point and Trussville into increasingly rural terrain. However, Clay has a special distinction for its location: it’s right in the sweet spot of the Turkey Creek watershed, a…

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Q&A: Americorps VISTA Volunteers Adam & Evan

Q&A: Americorps Volunteers Adam & Evan As we move into the final stretch of summer, we’re taking the time to sit down with our outgoing team members. After joining the Freshwater Land Trust team in August 2015, Americorps VISTA volunteers Adam Greene and Evan Sznajderman have become valued members of the FWLT family. In their…

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Freshwater Land Trust Announces Leadership Changes

After 15 years of leadership as Executive Director, “Mother Nature’s Real Estate Agent” Wendy Jackson is bidding farewell to the Freshwater Land Trust and has been named as Executive Vice President of the national Land Trust Alliance. The national Land Trust Alliance (LTA) is a land conservation organization that works with over 1,000 land trusts…

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Upcoming Red Rock Tuesday in Homewood

It’s time again for another Red Rock Tuesday! On August 2, we will be filming the August installment of Red Rock Tuesday with Jeh Jeh Pruitt and the Good Day Alabama team at the Homewood Forest Preserve, a 65-acre tract of land tucked away behind Homewood High School. FWLT recently hosted a workday at this…

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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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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 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 Projects: High Ore Line & 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. In Midfield, an industrial suburb of Birmingham…

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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 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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Upcoming Red Rock Tuesday

It’s about that time to gear up for our next Red Rock Tuesday with Jeh Jeh Pruitt and the Good Day Alabama Team! On July 12, we will be filming our July edition of Red Rock Tuesday beginning at 7:00 a.m. at the Gardendale Soccer Complex, where there’s a new project taking its first steps…

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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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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 Years Ago: Wendy Jackson

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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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 Donors – Bob and Ann Tate

Bob and Ann Tate, long-time wildflower and bird enthusiast, own 14-acres of beautiful property covered in wildflowers on the Cahaba River. After their two sons grew up and moved out-of-state, they built a home on their property nestled in the middle of the woods. In 2004, their love for their property and its memories encouraged…

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Upcoming Red Rock Tuesday

It’s that time again! We’re kicking off the start of spring with a Red Rock Tuesday at Rotary Trail next week! On Tuesday, April 5th at 7:00 a.m., we will be filming our monthly Red Rock Tuesday with Fox 6 Good Day Alabama at the brand new Rotary Trail. The grand opening of the Rotary…

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Yellow-Coated Cars Mean Beautiful Spring Flowers

It’s that time of year again when trees and flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing and our cars are continuously draped with a yellow coat of pollen. Although pollen triggers allergies for many, it is often misunderstood. Pollen is produced by all seed plants, not just flowering plants, and is released in the air all…

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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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World Water Day

Today is an international observance day for water related issues. The United Nations General Assembly designated March 22 as World Water Day in 1993, and it has been held annually since then. Today, almost half of the world’s workers — 1.5 billion people — work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on…

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Good Water = Good Beer

Water is an essential part of beer — 90 percent to be exact. As local craft breweries have become more popular, local water quality has become ever more important. Water quality not only affects the flavor of the beer, but it also affects how it supports the yeast, which then eats sugar and turns into…

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Irondale Riverwalk reopens for spring paddlers

  The new and improved Irondale Riverwalk at Grants Mill Road was unveiled earlier this month and is now open to the public just in time for spring! This newly designed canoe launch provides easy access to the Cahaba River for outdoor enthusiasts of any skill level. With funding from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the…

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20 Donors – The Howards

At the Freshwater Land Trust, we believe conservation work is more than preserving the natural environment—it’s about preserving a way of life. James and Olivia Howard believe that, too. In the early 2000s, the Howards gave an outright fee simple donation to the Freshwater Land Trust, permanently preserving their 167 acres on the Cahaba River.…

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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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Celebrating 20 Years in Conservation

In celebration of our 20th anniversary and the people, partners and places that have made our conservation work possible, the Freshwater Land Trust is excited to start off the next 20 years with a fresh look. The past few years have been monumental for the Land Trust, as our mission has grown in both scale…

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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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Meet Kaitlin Goins

Kaitlin Goins is returning after two years (and a lot of experience in between) to head up communications efforts for the Freshwater Land Trust. She interned with FWLT in the summer of 2014. Originally from Ardmore, Alabama, Kaitlin is a senior, dual-degree student at the University of Alabama and will graduate in May with a…

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2016 Pheasant Hunt

We’re gearing up for our annual Pheasant Shoot at Westevelt Lodge on February 26th! Join us and other conservation-minded partners and friends for a fun day of bird hunting and fellowship. Hunters will enjoy a continental style pheasant shoot and home-cooked Southern style lunch served at the beautiful, rustic, and historical Westervelt Lodge, one of…

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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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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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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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Land Aid 2015

The Freshwater Land Trust is excited to announce that their 7th annual Land Aid event will be held on Friday, July 31, at Avondale Brewery. The event will be headlined by Kopecky, an American indie-rock band. Nashville-based Kopecky (formerly the Kopecky Family Band) recently released their sophomore album, Drug for the Modern Age. Kopecky has…

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Conservation Awards

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust  was recently selected as the Con­ser­va­tion Orga­ni­za­tion of the Year for the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s Governor’s Con­ser­va­tion Achieve­ment Awards! For more than 40 years, this award has rec­og­nized orga­ni­za­tions that make last­ing con­tri­bu­tions to con­ser­va­tion in Alabama. The Con­ser­va­tion Orga­ni­za­tion of the Year Award is a part of the Governor’s Con­ser­va­tion Achieve­ment…

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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