Who We Are

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion based in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama, that acquires, con­serves, and con­nects open spaces that are crit­i­cal for the pro­tec­tion of rivers and streams and that pro­vide recre­ational oppor­tu­ni­ties for the com­mu­nity. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust’s mis­sion is the acqui­si­tion and stew­ard­ship of lands that enhance water qual­ity and pre­serve open space. We work to con­serve land in Jef­fer­son, Shelby, Blount, Chilton, Bibb, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, and Walker Coun­ties in Alabama.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, a 501©(3) non-profit orga­ni­za­tion, has six full-time employ­ees and one part-time employee and is gov­erned by a 15-member board of directors.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is accred­ited by the Land Trust Accred­i­ta­tion Com­mis­sion. The accred­i­ta­tion seal rec­og­nizes land con­ser­va­tion orga­ni­za­tions that meet national stan­dards for excel­lence, uphold the pub­lic trust, and ensure that con­ser­va­tion efforts are permanent.

We pro­tect land through a num­ber of dif­fer­ent meth­ods. The most com­mon con­ser­va­tion tools we use are (1) land acqui­si­tion and (2) con­ser­va­tion ease­ments. But, some of our most suc­cess­ful projects are secured not through acqui­si­tion or ease­ments, but through part­ner­ships. Red Moun­tain Park, a 1,108-acre (and grow­ing)  tract of land that stretches 4.5 miles along Red Moun­tain in south­west­ern Jef­fer­son County, was cre­ated through a ter­rific part­ner­ship of many dif­fer­ent indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions. Read the excit­ing story of Red Moun­tain Park here.

We are build­ing on a suc­cess­ful history

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is proud of our non-advocacy, busi­nesslike approach to our con­ser­va­tion efforts. We work with gov­ern­ments, cor­po­ra­tions, and pri­vate landown­ers to find win-win solu­tions that pro­tect the land and the inter­ests of the landowner and allow our com­mu­nity to grow economically.

Today, we work to acquire land along our rivers and streams to pro­tect water qual­ity, and we also work to pre­serve crit­i­cal open spaces through­out the eight-county region. We have cur­rently pro­tected — or helped to pro­tect– over 10,000 acres of land.

In 1924, the nation­ally renowned land­scape archi­tec­ture firm of Olm­sted Broth­ers devel­oped a park and nat­ural areas plan for Birm­ing­ham and the sur­round­ing areas. At that time, com­mu­nity lead­ers failed to imple­ment the plan largely due to a lack of ded­i­cated fund­ing for the project. Many of the areas that the Olm­sted Broth­ers rec­om­mended to be pre­served as green space have since been devel­oped. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to bring part of the orig­i­nal Olm­sted Plan back to life and to cre­ate a net­work of con­nected spaces through­out north-central Alabama.

It is our hope that our gen­er­a­tion will be remem­bered as the one who restored our rivers and made land con­ser­va­tion a priority.

You Can Help

There are ways you can help. You can donate your time or resources to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust.