Where do you work in Alabama?
Freshwater Land Trust works throughout Central Alabama, including in Bibb, Blount, Choctaw, Coosa, Dallas, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties.
Would you consider land protection opportunities outside of that area?
We focus our conservation work primarily in those counties. However, the Board of Directors agrees that if we were asked to help with an important conservation project outside of Central Alabama, we would certainly consider it.
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 do you decide what 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 a high conservation priority:
- Water Quality Protection (areas with high risk of erosion)
- Biological Conservation (sites that contain rare species & biological communities)
- Recreational Potential (open spaces within or near population centers)
- Important Connectors (linkages between existing conservation areas)
- 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?
Freshwater Land Trust currently has three of its properties available for public access, including the Wildwood Preserve in Homewood and in Irondale, the Moon River Canoe Launch and the Grant’s Mill Canoe Launch. We hope to make more of our properties available for public access in the near future. However, please note that all of our other properties are private property 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 prior express written agreement of Freshwater Land Trust. We appreciate you being respectful of the environmentally sensitive lands we protect.
What is a conservation easement?
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values.
A conservation easement allows you to continue to own and use your land and to sell it or pass it on to heirs. When you donate a conservation easement to a land trust, you give up some of the rights associated with the land. For example, you might give up the right to build additional structures, while retaining the right to grow crops. Future owners also will be bound by the easement’s terms. The land trust is responsible for making sure the easement’s terms are followed.
Why should I support Freshwater Land Trust?
- 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 proven track record, 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.