The Freshwater Land Trust, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization, has seven full-time employees, one part-time employee and is governed by a 15-member board of directors.
Wendy Jackson has over 18 years of experience in the field of real estate with most of those years spent in conservation. Since joining the Freshwater Land Trust in 2001, Wendy’s passion for river and land conservation has fueled her work to establish preserves and projects such as the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, the Five Mile Creek Greenways project, and Red Mountain Park. During her tenure as Executive Director, the Land Trust has helped to protect over 10,000 acres of land in north-central Alabama.
Wendy has been recognized across the state for her businesslike approach to conservation and her unique ability to bring diverse partners together for the benefit of conservation. She is the 2005 recipient of the James Dockery Environmental Leadership Award that is presented to individuals who have played a leadership role in preserving the South’s environment. She is celebrating her twelfth anniversary at the Freshwater Land Trust this year. In 2013, Wendy was named Friend of Planning by the American Planning Association due to her efforts to coordinate the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System.
Director of Land Conservation
Brian Rushing is the Director of Land Conservation and came to the Land Trust in March 2003. With an educational background in forestry, geology, environmental planning and management, business, and real estate, Brian tailored his academic pursuits for a career working with land trusts. He is a graduate of the University of the South (B.S.), Louisiana State University (M.S.), and the University of Alabama (M.B.A.) and has worked in natural history and environmental education for a number of years.
Since coming to the Land Trust, Brian has worked to complete the Land Trust’s implementation of the Jefferson County Greenways Program, and to date has negotiated numerous land acquisitions. In addition to on-the-ground land acquisition and stewardship activities, Brian has also worked with the Land Trust’s Board of Directors to develop a number of policies and procedures that guide the land acquisition and stewardship work of the Land Trust and that keep these activities consistent with the Land Trust Alliance’s Standards and Practices. In early 2009, FWLT became the first land trust in Alabama to be accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.
Chief Operating Officer
Richard Tucker has more than 25 years of experience working in the land conservation field. He came to the land trust from the Nature Conservancy, Alabama where he was director of operations and previously was associate state director and counsel for the Trust for Public Land in Atlanta where he worked on the Atlanta Beltline, a 23-mile loop of parks, green space and trails in central Atlanta.
Prior to moving to Atlanta, Richard worked on a variety of land conservation and planning programs for King County, Washington. He has a law degree from Florida State University and a master’s in public administration from the University of West Florida.
“I have grown to love this region and am excited to be associated with an organization which has done so much to improve its quality of life.”
Director of Philanthropy
Bryding Adams has become well known in the local philanthropic community through three decades of nonprofit leadership experience. She served as curator of decorative arts at the Birmingham Museum of Art, development director at the YWCA of Birmingham and executive director of the Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation, where she was responsible for the planning and successful funding of the Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre. Adams earned a master’s in history-museum studies from the State University of New York.
As a Birmingham native, hiker, gardener and birdwatcher, Adams personally connects with the trust’s mission to preserve the outdoor spaces that make a difference in the quality of life here.
“At this point in my life, I am solely concerned with making my contribution to something larger than myself that will last forever.”
Rebekah P. Parker
Director of Land Stewardship
Rebekah is from Huntsville and had the blessing of growing up surrounded by nature on Monte Sano Mountain. She attended Birmingham-Southern College and received a B.A. in urban environmental studies in 2009. After completing her undergraduate degree, Rebekah continued her education and received a M.S. in geography with a concentration in physical geography from the University of Alabama. Rebekah brings a wealth of field and research experience from her time at Birmingham-Southern and University of Alabama. Rebekah enjoys spending her free time relaxing and playing Frisbee with her four-year old chocolate lab, June.
Red Rock Trail Coordinator
Ryan grew up in Vestavia Hills and received undergraduate degrees in political science and journalism from the University of Alabama, and a master of public administration with a concentration in city planning from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Ryan has experience working for nonprofit organizations, local governments, and a public health agency, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life of residents across central Alabama and ensuring everyone has a safe, convenient place to exercise in their community. In his free time, Ryan enjoys hiking around the beautiful places in the state and enjoying the parks and trails around his home in Southside.
Executive and Communications Assistant
Memorie is originally from Woodstock, GA, but received a B.A. in public relations from the University of Alabama in 2013. Her enthusiasm for public relations and strategic communications is matched with a passion for land conservation. Memorie has enjoyed the outdoors her whole life, having grown up on the banks of her family’s cabin along the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge, GA, where she loves to fly-fish. Memorie looks forward to making a lasting impact on Alabama and contributing to her community. In her spare time, Memorie enjoys watching Alabama football and spending time with her two dogs, Mackenzie, 14-year-old Golden Retriever, and Gunther, 3-year-old German Shepherd.
Assistant Land Steward
Zac grew up in Birmingham in the Sylvan Springs community. From an early age, he enjoyed being outside and exploring the woods around his house where he gained a particular affinity for salamanders, snapping turtles, and snakes. Zac now attends Birmingham-Southern College where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology with an urban environmental studies minor. Since coming to the Freshwater Land Trust in 2011, Zac has developed incredible photography skills which he uses to capture our beautiful properties and the unique wildlife and plants that depend on it. Recently, one of Zac’s photographs was featured in the book Uncommon Beauty: The Beauty of Common Organisms by Kurt E. Johnson and W. Mike Howell. In his spare time, Zac enjoys doing what he does for work – hiking and photographing beautiful spots in Alabama.
Motivational Coach and Mascot
June has been a part of the Freshwater Land Trust since 2011. Beginning at just two-years old, she enthusiastically explored Freshwater Land Trust’s many properties and could be found on as many stewardship outings and volunteer events that she could get her paws on. June is as passionate about exploring trails in the woods as she is about swimming after her toy duck. Even though she is our youngest team member, June motivates everyone at the Land Trust with her ever wagging tail and puppy-like smile. June really enjoys the occasional visits to see her coworkers and any opportunity she has to pitch in at the office. In her spare time, June enjoys sunning on the porch, walking on trails, and playing Frisbee with her parents, Rebekah and Garret. June encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy everything this area has to offer!