What is a land trust?

A land trust is a nonprofit organization that works to protect land through donation or purchase. Land trusts work with willing landowners who wish to donate or sell their land or place conservation easements on their land for conservation purposes. According to the Land Trust Alliance, there are over 1,700 land trusts in the nation.

How is FLT different from other conservation-based organizations?

As a non-advocacy organization, we value collaboration and connection, and are proud to work with a variety of partners, from other local nonprofits and businesses to national corporations and government agencies. Like many other conservation-based nonprofits, we share the same common goal of promoting clean water, healthy ecosystems, and natural beauty in all that we do.

Where does FLT work?

Freshwater Land Trust’s conservation work spans eleven counties throughout Central Alabama and counting. We currently have conservation properties in Bibb, Blount, Choctaw, Coosa, Dallas, Etowah, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties. The Red Rock Trail System® is limited to the boundaries of Jefferson County.

How do you decide which lands you want to protect?

Freshwater Land Trust’s Board of Directors set five major conservation priorities that we use when considering new lands for protection. A property that ranks high in each of these categories would be considered high in conservation value:

  1. Water Quality Protection (areas with high risk of erosion)
  2. Biological Conservation (sites that contain rare species & biological communities)
  3. Recreational Potential (open spaces within or near population centers)
  4. Important Connectors (links between existing conservation areas)
  5. Community Conservation Priorities (archaeological/paleontological sites, historical sites, bicycle/pedestrian routes, viewsheds, etc.)

Which of Freshwater Land Trust’s Properties are accessible to the public?

Four of FLT’s properties are available for public access! Visit Homewood Forest Preserve and Wildwood Preserve in Homewood, and the Moon River Canoe Launch and Grant’s Mill Canoe Launch, both in Irondale. We occasionally host guided tours of some of our private conservation properties. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media to stay informed of events.

We intend to open more public access properties soon; however, most of our conservation properties are on private land and cannot be used by the public for any purpose, including, but not limited to, hunting, fishing, hiking, walking, biking, climbing, camping, or driving, without the express written consent of Freshwater Land Trust. Thank you for respecting the environmentally sensitive lands we protect!

How can I support Freshwater Land Trust?

You can contribute directly to our work by donating, opting into our Freshwater Fans benefit program, volunteering with us, subscribing to our newsletter, following us on social media, and joining us at our events.

Why should I support Freshwater Land Trust?

FLT works to protect environmentally significant land and water and increase access to outdoor recreation for the benefit of all. If you value these actions, we hope you’ll consider supporting us.

  • We are the only conservation nonprofit organization that works to conserve land solely in Central Alabama.
  • We are the first accredited land trust in Alabama and one of 443 accredited land trusts in the country.
  • We have a demonstrated history of success, having protected over 11,000 acres across Central Alabama since our inception in 1996, which includes the 1,108-acre Red Mountain Park property and the 700-acre Turkey Creek Nature Preserve.
  • We are a good investment. We are very conscious of how money is spent, ensuring that every dollar is used to advance our mission of acquiring and caring for lands that enhance water quality and preserve open space in Central Alabama.