Flow Chart: Summer 2014

September 12th, 2014 by

Down­load our newly designed cor­po­rate newslet­ter, Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust Flow Chart.


Accreditation Announcement

August 25th, 2014 by

small logo

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust Earns Con­tin­ued National Recognition

Renewed Accred­i­ta­tion Awarded by the Land Trust Accred­i­ta­tion Commission

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust has achieved renewed land trust accred­i­ta­tion from the Land Trust Accred­i­ta­tion Com­mis­sion, an inde­pen­dent pro­gram of the Land Trust Alliance.

This accred­i­ta­tion helps us con­tinue to carry out our mis­sion of pre­serv­ing the spe­cial places that mat­ter in Alabama, and we are proud and hon­ored to be rec­og­nized as meet­ing national stan­dards of excel­lence,” Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Wendy Jack­son said.  “This mark of dis­tinc­tion allows us to posi­tion our­selves among the com­mu­nity as ded­i­cated stew­ards of Alabama’s excep­tional and irre­place­able nat­ural her­itage, leav­ing a per­ma­nent legacy for future gen­er­a­tions to admire.”

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is a 501©(3) non­profit orga­ni­za­tion 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. Its mis­sion is the acqui­si­tion and stew­ard­ship of lands that enhance water qual­ity and pre­serve open space. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust con­serves land in Jef­fer­son, Shelby, Blount, Chilton, Bibb, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, and Walker coun­ties. Some of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust’s projects include Red Moun­tain Park, the Five Mile Creek Green­way Part­ner­ship, the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail Sys­tem, Turkey Creek Nature Pre­serve, Tapawingo Springs, Moss Rock pre­serve expan­sion in Hoover, Wild­wood Pre­serve in Home­wood, the Cahaba River­walk on Grants Mill Road, among sev­eral others.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust­was awarded renewed accred­i­ta­tion this August and is one of only 280 land trusts from across the coun­try that are now accred­ited. Accred­ited land trusts are autho­rized to dis­play a seal indi­cat­ing to the pub­lic that they meet national stan­dards for excel­lence, uphold the pub­lic trust and ensure that con­ser­va­tion efforts are per­ma­nent. The seal is a mark of dis­tinc­tion in land conservation.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is one of the first land trusts to achieve renewed accred­i­ta­tion, a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment for the land trust and sig­nif­i­cant major mile­stone for the accred­i­ta­tion pro­gram. They are an impor­tant mem­ber of the 280 accred­ited land trusts that pro­tect more than half of the 20,645,165 acres cur­rently owned in fee or pro­tected by a con­ser­va­tion ease­ment held by a land trust,” said Com­mis­sion Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Tam­mara Van Ryn. “Accred­i­ta­tion renewal, which must be com­pleted every five years, pro­vides the pub­lic with an assur­ance that accred­ited land trusts con­tinue to meet exceed­ingly high stan­dards for quality.”

Each land trust that achieved renewed accred­i­ta­tion sub­mit­ted exten­sive doc­u­men­ta­tion and under­went a rig­or­ous review. “Through accred­i­ta­tion renewal land trusts are part of an impor­tant eval­u­a­tion and improve­ment process that ver­i­fies their oper­a­tions con­tinue to be effec­tive, strate­gic and in accor­dance with strict require­ments,” said Van Ryn. “Accred­ited orga­ni­za­tions have engaged cit­i­zen con­ser­va­tion lead­ers and improved sys­tems for ensur­ing that their con­ser­va­tion work is permanent.”

Accord­ing to the Land Trust Alliance, con­serv­ing land helps ensure clean air and drink­ing water; safe, healthy food; scenic land­scapes and views; recre­ational places; and habi­tat for the diver­sity of life on earth. In addi­tion to health and food ben­e­fits, con­serv­ing land increases prop­erty val­ues near green­belts, saves tax dol­lars by encour­ag­ing more effi­cient devel­op­ment, and reduces the need for expen­sive water fil­tra­tion facil­i­ties. Across the coun­try, local cit­i­zens and com­mu­ni­ties have come together to form more than 1,700 land trusts to save the places they love. Com­mu­nity lead­ers in land trusts through­out the coun­try have worked with will­ing landown­ers to save over 47 mil­lion acres of farms, forests, parks and places peo­ple care about, includ­ing land trans­ferred to pub­lic agen­cies and pro­tected via other means. Strong, well-managed land trusts pro­vide local com­mu­ni­ties with effec­tive cham­pi­ons and care­tak­ers of their crit­i­cal land resources, and safe­guard the land through the generations.

We are proud to dis­play the accred­i­ta­tion seal and look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing our work in mak­ing land con­ser­va­tion a pri­or­ity in our region,” said Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Wendy Jackson.

About the Land Trust Accred­i­ta­tion Commission

The Land Trust Accred­i­ta­tion Com­mis­sion, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., inspires excel­lence, pro­motes pub­lic trust and ensures per­ma­nence in the con­ser­va­tion of open lands by rec­og­niz­ing land trust orga­ni­za­tions that meet rig­or­ous qual­ity stan­dards and that strive for con­tin­u­ous improve­ment. The Com­mis­sion, estab­lished in 2006 as an inde­pen­dent pro­gram of the Land Trust Alliance, is gov­erned by a vol­un­teer board of diverse land con­ser­va­tion and non­profit man­age­ment experts from around the coun­try. See a com­plete list of all recently accred­ited land trusts online at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/newsroom/press-releases. More infor­ma­tion on the accred­i­ta­tion pro­gram is avail­able on the Commission’s web­site, www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

About The Land Trust Alliance

The Land Trust Alliance, of which The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is a mem­ber, is a national con­ser­va­tion group that works to save the places peo­ple love by strength­en­ing con­ser­va­tion through­out Amer­ica. It works to increase the pace and qual­ity of con­ser­va­tion by advo­cat­ing favor­able tax poli­cies, train­ing land trusts in best prac­tices and work­ing to ensure the per­ma­nence of con­ser­va­tion in the face of con­tin­u­ing threats. The Alliance pub­lishes Land Trust Stan­dards and Prac­tices and pro­vides finan­cial and admin­is­tra­tive sup­port to the Com­mis­sion. It has estab­lished an endow­ment to help ensure the suc­cess of the accred­i­ta­tion pro­gram and keep it afford­able for land trusts of all sizes to par­tic­i­pate in accred­i­ta­tion. More infor­ma­tion can be found at www.landtrustalliance.org.

Help J.J. Retire

July 31st, 2014 by

Meet J.J., our Subaru.


Turkey Creek cu 1_00005_131105


J.J. has trav­eled many hard miles to help the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust carry out our mis­sion of pre­serv­ing the places that mat­ter in Alabama, but she needs YOUR help.


Click here, and learn about J.J.‘s unique jour­ney in land conservation.



J.J. is a 1996 Sub­aru Out­back and was a gen­er­ous gift to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust. We named J.J. after her pre­vi­ous own­ers, Jerry and Joyce Lan­ning, two long­time donors and sup­port­ers of our orga­ni­za­tion. J.J. has worked hard for the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust. Our mis­sion is to pre­serve the places that mat­ter in the com­mu­ni­ties we serve, and J.J. is a vital part of our team.

J.J. has helped us pre­serve more than 10,000 acres of crit­i­cal land by dri­ving the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust staff to and from all the places we have con­served. J.J. was able to over­come the bumps and hills of our pre­served prop­er­ties, prov­ing to be the per­fect off-road vehi­cle and a true conservationist.

But J.J. is tired. She unfor­tu­nately has two bro­ken front axles and needs a trans­mis­sion replace­ment. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust wants to give J.J. what she most deserves after all her hard work as a con­ser­va­tion­ist: retire­ment to Sub­aru Heaven. How­ever, we need a new vehi­cle to carry on J.J.’s work in pre­serv­ing the places that mat­ter in Alabama. As J.J. would say her­self, there is no greater legacy to leave behind than to pro­tect lands for future gen­er­a­tions to enjoy.

You can help us pre­serve the places that mat­ter by donat­ing to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust’s trans­porta­tion fund, and share J.J.‘s unique story in land con­ser­va­tion with your friends.

Here’s how you can help.….

Make a  dona­tion via Paypal:

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is a 501©(3) orga­ni­za­tion.
Your con­tri­bu­tion is tax deductible.

Other Ways to Donate:

Please mail a check to:
Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust
2308 First Avenue North
Birm­ing­ham, Alabama 35203

Or con­tact the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust offices — 205.417.2777

Or make a mon­e­tary dona­tion via Pay­Pal. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is a 501©(3)





June 20th, 2014 by

Down­load Mean­der­ings Spring 2014 as a PDF.

LandAid 2014

June 20th, 2014 by



The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust Junior Board invites Birm­ing­ham res­i­dents to enjoy good music and local brews while help­ing pre­serve the places that mat­ter in Alabama at LandAid on Fri­day, July 18 at Avon­dale Brew­ing Com­pany. The annual fundraiser will fea­ture the Nashville-based rock group The Wild Feath­ers and Birmingham’s Ocean Liner.


The Wild Feath­ers are a five-member, Nashville based rock band, led by Rick Young, Joel Kind, Tay­lor Burns, Pre­ston Wim­berly and Ben Dumas. They com­bine the styles of tra­di­tional rock, blues, folk and coun­try music and mix vin­tage roots with mod­ern tones. The band was recently fea­tured on Late Night with Seth Mey­ers and VH1’s Morn­ing Buzz.


Nashville-based rock back The Wild Feathers


Ocean Liner of Birmingham

We would like to thank our spon­sors for help­ing make this event hap­pen: Alabama Power, Cigna-HealthSpring, Avon­dale Brew­ing Com­pany, Honda Man­u­fac­tur­ing of Alabama, Levy’s Fine Jew­elry, May­nard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. , Weld for Birm­ing­ham and Birm­ing­ham Moun­tain Radio.

We are very excited about LandAid,” FWLT Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Wendy Jack­son, said. “The fundraiser always cre­ates a huge turnout and raises money for land con­ser­va­tion. It’s a great excuse to party for a good cause.”

Tick­ets are $15 online and $25 at the door. All pro­ceeds ben­e­fit the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust and its mis­sion to pre­serve the places that mat­ter. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and Ocean Liner will take the stage at 8 p.m., fol­lowed by The Wild Feathers

Share our event with your friends on Face­book and use #LandAid2014

Join us for good music and local brews for a good cause!

Cahaba Blueway

April 2nd, 2014 by


Help the Cahaba Blue­way part­ners win $25,000 to restore a canoe launch!

VOTE ONLINE APRIL 1–30 and help us restore this Cahaba River treasure!


We are excited that our project has been selected as one of twelve national final­ists for a $25,000 Bridge­stone Rethink Green Con­test prize to improve a com­mu­nity recre­ation site.

Visit the link about to vote for the Cahaba River Access at Grants Mill! Each unique email address is eli­gi­ble to vote once per day.

Thank you City of Iron­dale and Cahaba Blue­way part­ners or help­ing to make this canoe launch a Birm­ing­ham destination.

The Grants Mill canoe launch is part of the Cahaba Blue­way, a unique part­ner­ship with The Nature Con­ser­vancy of Alabama, The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, Alabama Inno­va­tion Engine and the Cahaba River Soci­ety. The Grants Mill canoe launch allows us the oppor­tu­nity to bring more peo­ple to the River and build sup­port for pro­tect­ing the Cahaba.

You can help us build a launch that is use­able and safe by vot­ing through­out the month of April. With fund­ing from the Bridge­stone Rethink Green Con­test and a gen­er­ous match from the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Greater Birm­ing­ham, we can restore this beau­ti­ful access to the Cahaba.

Help us spread the word! Share the link below via your social media networks:


We’re hon­ored to par­tic­i­pate in this national con­test, and we thank you for your support.

Stay tuned for results!

Join us for a ribbon cutting!

March 5th, 2014 by


                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust and the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail Sys­tem will host a rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony with the City of Birm­ing­ham unveil­ing an exten­sion of the Civil Rights Trail from down­town Birm­ing­ham to include por­tions of the Smith­field, East Thomas and Enon Ridge neigh­bor­hoods. This lat­est seg­ment of the trail is part of the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail Sys­tem and includes new side­walks, bike lanes, edu­ca­tional Civil Rights Move­ment sig­nage, and a one-mile trail along a his­toric street­car line. The cer­e­mony will take place at the Smith­field Library on March 8 at 2pm and will high­light the first com­pleted seg­ment of more than 29 miles of trails to be com­pleted under a fed­eral grant from the Depart­ment of Transportation.


The Civil Rights Trail exten­sion will pro­vide more than four miles of con­nec­tions between down­town Birm­ing­ham and neigh­bor­hoods that played an impor­tant role in the Civil Rights Move­ment. Edu­ca­tional signs line both sides of Cen­ter Street, a main road included in the exten­sion of the trail and an area that once served as the divid­ing line between white and African-American neigh­bor­hoods. 


 “We are excited with the plan and use of green space and walk­ing trails for a num­ber of rea­sons,” Mayor William Bell.  “The walk­ing trails will join neigh­bor­hoods together and cul­ti­vate phys­i­cal activ­ity that will cre­ate health­ier com­mu­ni­ties with designed accom­mo­da­tions and acces­si­bil­ity for both auto­mo­biles, pedes­trian and bicy­cle access.


The civil rights trail con­nects us all while pro­vid­ing edu­ca­tion and exer­cise,” City Coun­cilor Mar­cus Lundy.  “This trans­for­ma­tive project rein­forces com­mu­nity pride and makes the neigh­bor­hoods along the trail a land­mark des­ti­na­tion for res­i­dents and vis­i­tors for years to come.”


The Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail Sys­tem is a pro­posed net­work of more than 750 miles of trails, bike lanes and side­walks that will con­nect com­mu­ni­ties through­out Jef­fer­son County in an effort to increase active and healthy living.


In addi­tion to the City of Birm­ing­ham, fun­ders of the project include the Jef­fer­son County Depart­ment of Health (JCDH), Alabama Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Greater Birm­ing­ham, Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, CSX Cor­po­ra­tion, Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foun­da­tion, UAB, Susan Mott Webb Char­i­ta­ble Trust and Alabama Power.

The Jef­fer­son County Depart­ment of Health funded the cre­ation of the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail Sys­tem plan and con­tin­ues to sup­port imple­men­ta­tion in order to pro­vide com­mu­ni­ties with safe, acces­si­ble places to engage in phys­i­cal activity.


This trail rep­re­sents an impor­tant step toward our vision for ‘A Healthy Com­mu­nity of Healthy Peo­ple in a Healthy Envi­ron­ment’ and our goal to make spaces for exer­cise eas­ily acces­si­ble to ALL res­i­dents of Jef­fer­son County,” JCDH Health Offi­cer and Chief Exec­u­tive Mark E. Wil­son, MD. “Trails like this are great places for us all to come together as neigh­bors, and that’s what I hope we will see here.  Once the momen­tum gets going, we will start to see a pos­i­tive return on our invest­ment with mul­ti­ple health and socioe­co­nomic benefits.”


In addi­tion to finan­cially sup­port­ing the cre­ation of the trail, the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Greater Birm­ing­ham also helped to coor­di­nate the local fundrais­ing effort.


These trails are a great tes­ta­ment to what can hap­pen when peo­ple come together – com­mu­nity lead­ers, donors, advo­cates, offi­cials, and many more,” CFGB Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer Gus Heard-Hughes.  “The Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion is excited to be part of this col­lec­tive progress toward con­nect­ing com­mu­ni­ties through side­walks, bike lanes, and greenways.”


The Fresh­wa­ter Land trust also played a role in extend­ing the pop­u­lar Civil Rights Trail from down­town into nearby neigh­bor­hoods through their efforts involved with the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail System.


The goal of the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail Sys­tem is to con­nect com­mu­ni­ties, while also con­nect­ing peo­ple to the places they want to go,” Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Wendy Jack­son. “This project helps con­nect neigh­bor­hoods to down­town, while also pro­vid­ing side­walks, bike lanes and trails that pro­vide safe con­nec­tions to churches, schools, libraries and parks. Peo­ple want areas where they can safely walk or bike to get to the places they care about, and this project pro­vides these mean­ing­ful connections.”


The pub­lic is invited to run, bike, or walk the new seg­ment of the Civil Rights Trail imme­di­ately after the rib­bon cut­ting ceremony.


Join us on Sat­ur­day as we celebrate!

Red Rock Tuesday-Civil Rights Trail

February 27th, 2014 by

RRRVT logo

Red Rock Tues­day with Jeh Jeh Pruitt

You are invited to join us March 4th at the new Civil Rights Trail extension.

Dur­ing our next Red Rock Tues­day seg­ment on Good Day Alabama, we are excited to visit the first phase of the City of Birmingham’s TIGER grant!  With over 29 miles of side­walks, bike lanes, and trails sched­uled to be com­plete within the next year, the exten­sion of the Civil Rights Trail into the Smith­field, East Thomas, and Enon Ridge neigh­bor­hoods is the first com­pleted sec­tion under the grant.  Please join us at East Thomas Park as we cel­e­brate the new trail with the part­ners who made it a real­ity.  


March 4, 2014
6:30 a.m. — 8:30 a.m. 


East Thomas Park
13th Avenue West

Birm­ing­ham, AL 35204


To get to East Thomas Park from down­town, take Abra­ham Woods Boule­vard (8th Avenue N.) towards Legion Field.   Turn right on to Cen­ter Street and travel over I-20/59.  Turn left on to 12th Avenue West and you will pass Wilk­er­son Mid­dle School.   Turn Right on to 3rd Street West, and the entrance to East Thomas Park will be imme­di­ately on your left, right after the Red Rock Trail­head sign.

We’ll see you there!


Red Rock Tuesday

January 31st, 2014 by

You’re invited to join us again next Tues­day, Feb­ru­ary 4th, at Vestavia’s McCal­lum Park for Red Rock Tues­day with Jeh Jeh Pruitt and the Fox 6 Team.

We’re excited to fea­ture this des­ti­na­tion in Ves­tavia Hills on Good Day Alabama with the help of our Health Action Part­ners, com­mu­nity lead­ers, and each of you!


Tues­day, Feb. 4, 2014

6:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.


McCal­lum Park

Rose­mary Lane

Ves­tavia Hills, Al 35216

To get to McCal­lum Park from High­way 280, turn onto Rocky Ridge Road and keep left to stay on Rock Ridge Road. Go approx­i­mately 3.5 miles, then turn right onto Rose­mary Lane. The park will be at the end of Rose­mary Lane.

We hope to see you there as we con­tinue to edu­cate our com­mu­nity about the Red Rock Trail System!

Red Rock Tuesday

January 13th, 2014 by

Red Rock Tues­day, Jan­u­ary 14th: Tarrant’s Down­town EcoScape Park

Join us tomor­row for Red Rock Tues­day with Jeh Jeh Pruitt and the Fox 6 Team at the Tar­rant EcoScape Park!

We con­tinue to fea­ture des­ti­na­tions of the Red Rock Trail the first Tues­day of every month on Good Day Alabama with the help of our Health Action Part­ners, com­mu­nity lead­ers, and each of you!

Located at 1113 Ford Avenue in down­town Tar­rant, the EcoScape Park pro­vides nat­ural restora­tion to a vacant lot that at one time housed a dry clean­ing busi­ness.  Designed for pas­sive recre­ation and use as an out­door class­room, Tar­rant EcoScape’s bioswales mit­i­gate stormwa­ter runoff from adja­cent park­ing lots.  The park also fea­tures a mosaic foun­tain, benches made from reclaimed gran­ite street curbs, and an herb gar­den planted by Tar­rant Mid­dle School students.

When: Jan­u­ary 14th
6:30 a.m. — 8:30 a.m.

Where: To get to the park, take I-20/59 towards Atlanta/Gadsden.  Take exit 128 toward High­way 79 onto Tal­lapoosa Street.  Con­tinue straight as the road becomes Van­der­bilt Road and then Pin­son Val­ley Park­way.  After approx­i­mately two miles, veer slightly to the right onto Pin­son Street. After half a mile, turn right onto Ford Avenue and the park will be on your right.