The Freshwater Land Trust, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization, has six full-time employees and is governed by a 15-member board of directors.
Red Mountain Park, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, the Rotary Trail.
Many of you have probably visited these places, but one thing they all have in common is that they are products of partnerships and initiatives that Wendy Jackson, executive director of the Freshwater Land Trust, has played a key role in establishing. There is no one better at bringing diverse organizations and people together better than Wendy—she simply makes it happen.
Wendy Jackson has more than 20 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 meaningful projects such as the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, the Five Mile Creek Greenways project, and Red Mountain Park. Wendy has also played a vital role in spearheading the plan for the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System which has been an integral part of downtown Birmingham’s revitalization.
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. During her tenure as Executive Director, the Land Trust has helped to protect more than 10,000 acres of land in north-central Alabama. In 2013, Wendy was named Friend of Planning by the American Planning Association for her efforts to coordinate the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System. These are just a few examples of the large impact Wendy has made and continues to make on our community and on the environment.
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.”
Director of Conservation
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 chocolate lab, June.
Red Rock Trail Director
Stan Palla, an avid cyclist, paddler and hiker, has had a successful career in the public, private and non-profit sectors. His love for urban spaces, the outdoors and quality of life have guided his career and principal belief to leave everything better than he found it.
His work has caused the planting of over two million trees in the City of Houston and, he also immensely improved Ruffner’s programming and grounds. His love for cycling led him to be the Director for the Alabama Bicycle Coalition, in which he effectively passed 3-foot passing law in Alabama to protect cyclists on the road. On top of all that, his creation and management of the urban forest in Birmingham became a national award winning program.
Stan’s passion for Birmingham and improving public spaces was too grand for him to pass up the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Position. He sees this as an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for Birmingham, Jefferson County and the well being of it citizens.
Communications Coordinator & Development 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 Golden Retriever Mackenzie and 120-pound German Shepherd Gunther.
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 attended Birmingham-Southern College to pursue 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!