See what we’ve been up to! Click here to read our latest newsletter: Meanderings SPRING 2015
See what we’ve been up to! Click here to read our latest newsletter: Meanderings SPRING 2015
OUTSIDE Magazine, America’s foremost active and adventure lifestyle brand, and outdoor lifestyle apparel company Toad&Co have named Birmingham as a top 60 finalist in their 2015 “Best Town Ever” contest.
Local specialty outdoor retailer Alabama Outdoors has been chosen as the retailer of choice and local promoter of the Best Towns 2015 bracket. Over a period of six weeks, OUTSIDE’s readers will narrow an initial bracket of 64 towns down to one winner: the kind of place with top-notch restaurants, vibrant farmers’ markets, friendly neighborhoods, and unparalleled access to hiking and biking trails.
Beginning this week, OUTSIDE and Toad&Co will engage and incentivize consumers to visit Outside Online and vote early and often in the competition through a sweepstakes drawing. Seven drawings will occur, one after the end of each round of voting, with winners receiving Toad&Co apparel packages. Winners of the Grand Prize will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Best Town Ever fully outfitted in Toad&Co. The Best Town will be revealed on August 1st. OUTSIDE will feature the final 16 towns in its September 2015 issue.
Voting begins MAY 4 on Outside Online. Share your own #Birmingham photos with the official #votebhamoutdoors tag, and let’s show the nation what we already know and love about Birmingham!
Alabama Outdoors will spotlight Birmingham’s great outdoor culture and selection as a “Best Town” finalist on Friday, May 1st during the company’s popular Party on the Porch. Come out to celebrate Birmingham and this exciting opportunity, and remember to vote!
Celebrating and preserving history and culture through nature is the root of our mission at the Freshwater Land Trust. Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to work with partners who can help us fulfill that mission.
The Japan-America Society of Alabama was one of those partners.
In 2012, working with Japanese Consulates throughout the country, the Embassy of Japan took the initiative to promote the planting of flowering cherry trees in 36 cities across the United States as part of the centennial anniversary of Japan’s gift of the cherry trees that were planted along the mall in Washington, D.C. in 1912. The Japan-America Society of Alabama (JASA) chose the Freshwater Land Trust as one of the local organizations to receive two of the trees to be displayed on part of the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System.
The two small trees were descendants of the trees given to the U.S. in 1912. After evaluating several land trust sites, we decided that Lake Cosby in the City of Clay would be the ideal location, so that people could enjoy the reflection of the blossoms on the lake when they visited.
The Freshwater Land Trust coordinated a tree planting with JASA in celebration of the special gift in November 2012. City of Clay Mayor Charles Webster and former state Senator Slade Blackwell of Mountain Brook were among those who attended the tree planting. It was a very memorable day for the Freshwater Land Trust, as we were honored to participate in the national celebration.
Last week, three years later, Wendy Jackson and Rebekah Parker went to Lake Cosby to visit with Mayor Webster. The cherry trees we planted three years ago were in full bloom!
“It’s clear that the City of Clay has taken great care of the cherry trees and have given them the time and space they need to thrive,” Director of Conservation, Rebekah Parker, said. “The trees have grown about three feet, which is a sign of good health, and we hope that Lake Cosby visitors will continue to enjoy the blooms every year.”
“The cherry trees are a beautiful focal point at Lake Cosby,” Wendy said. “The reflection of the blossoms on the water create a serene and peaceful place for people to reflect and enjoy being outside. These trees, which were so tiny before, now symbolize a monumental legacy that will last for generations—something we truly value at the Freshwater Land Trust.”
The Freshwater Land Trust is excited to participate in the Regions Tradition Golf Tournament, Birdies for Charity fundraising event this year, and we need your support to help us make it to the top of the leader board!
Donors may make a minimum pledge of $0.05 per birdie, or a minimum flat donation of $20. Your gift will directly benefit the Freshwater Land Trust’s efforts to conserve land in Central Alabama.
What is Birdies for Charity?
Birdies for Charity is a fundraising program designed to give local nonprofits the opportunity to raise money by generating contributions based on the number of birdies made by Champions Tour players at the Regions Tradition.
A birdie is one stroke better than par, the normal expected score, and there is an average of more than 900 birdies made during a major championship golf tournament. So, the minimum pledge of $0.05 would equal $45.00 donated to the Freshwater Land Trust. We receive 100% of the contributions after the tournament, and all funds will directly benefit our conservation work within our eight county region.
When can I donate?
The Regions Tradition tournament kicks off on May 13th, but donations can be made at any time. In 2014, $314,000 was raised toward local charities and nonprofit organizations. Your pledge today of $0.05 or more or a flat donation of $20 or more can help the Freshwater Land Trust protect water quality and conserve open space.
There are several benefits to donors who contribute to the Birdies for Charity event:
How can I make my pledge or donation?
Click HERE to donate online. We also have pledge cards available at our office that we would be happy to mail or email to you.
Please share the news with your friends and family on social media and encourage them to contribute as well throughout the tournament. What easier way to support conservation? Help us preserve the places that matter by pledging or donating today!
5 WAYS TO CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S DAY OUTSIDE
Want to do something really special for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? Plan a romantic “getaway” right here at home! What better way to tell someone you love them than giving them the gift of an outdoor experience? Here’s 5 things you can get outside and do with your special someone this Valentine’s Day weekend:
Bob and Ann Tate have walked the woods of Alabama for as long as they can remember. Bob and Ann are long-time wildflower and bird enthusiasts and have both served as Presidents of the Birmingham Audubon Society and Alabama Wildflower Society. Bob has also served as President of the Cahaba River Society.
So, several years ago, when they were shown 14 acres of beautiful property covered with wildflowers on the Cahaba River, they decided they had to have it.
After their two sons grew up and moved out of state, Bob and Ann built a house on that very same property, peacefully nestled in the middle of the woods.
Over the years, their love for the property and all its memories brought them to a point where they wanted to ensure that no one would ever build any other structures that might destroy the beautiful surroundings on their special place in the woods. With saving habitat for the birds and wildflowers in mind, they decided to donate an easement to the Freshwater Land Trust to save the property forever.
This was not the Tate’s first encounter with the Freshwater Land Trust, however.
Before 1990, Bob worked as the attorney for the Cahaba River Society, the organization that helped win the sewer suit against Jefferson County that initially created the Black Warrior and Cahaba Land Trust, now the Freshwater Land Trust (FWLT). Bob wanted a nonprofit that, through easements, could protect the Cahaba forever. Consequently, he was instrumental in the founding of the Freshwater Land Trust. Bob knew Wendy Jackson before FWLT was created, and when she was selected as Executive Director, he said, “Our problems are solved.”
Then leading the way, in 2004, Bob and Ann put their land near the Cahaba in a conservation easement.Subsequently, they have given funding for stewardship endowment and have been contributors to the Freshwater Land Trust annually since 2004.
When asked how all of this really happened, Bob says, “I blame Ann for this, she got me involved with the Wildflower and Audubon Societies.”
As a former litigation attorney, Bob says, “I’m now the good kind of lawyer—retired.”
But Bob and Ann have retired in a beautiful place that is secured by them forever. It has been a long journey to this point, but the Freshwater Land Trust is so grateful to both of them for not only playing a vital role in helping to create the land trust, but also for their continuous support throughout the years.
Executive Director Wendy Jackson confirms, “Bob and Ann Tate are legends in the environmental community. They exemplify people whose lives have truly made a difference, and I am honored to know them and call them friends!”
Thank you Bob and Ann for all you have done and continue to do to support the Freshwater Land Trust!
Are you familiar with the process we use to determine what lands to protect?
Determining the conservation values of a particular property is the first step in the decision-making process.
Freshwater Land Trust’s Board of Directors has established five conservation priorities we use when considering new lands for protection. A property within our eight country region ranking high in each category would be considered a high conservation priority.
These major conservation priorities include:
Father Nature Landscapes, one of our Corporate Partners for Conservation, recently revisited Turkey Creek for the final round of plantings on the newly formed streambank following our removal of Old Shadow Lake Dam.
Daniel McCurry and his crew at Father Nature have worked tirelessly on this difficult project, and will have planted nearly 100 native plants and trees along the newly established streambank. Although this restoration has been challenging at times, Daniel has shown his expertise and been a huge help in our efforts to revitalize Turkey Creek. Thank you Father Nature Landscapes for being an outstanding partner not just in our dam removal work, but in all our conservation projects.
This year, we look forward to continuing our restoration work at the Turkey Creek dam removal site, one of our most successful projects to date, which opened up an additional half mile of habitat for the endangered vermilion darter – a fish that before this project only had about seven miles of habitat in the world.
14 Things We Did for Conservation in 2014
Looking back at the year passed, we accomplished great things for conservation in 2014. Although we had some unexpected challenges come our way, we were still able to achieve our goals and tackle new projects as well.
As we welcome a new year, here are 14 thing we accomplished in 2014 thanks to our generous partners, supporters and friends:
From all of us at the Freshwater Land Trust, HAPPY NEW YEAR! We’ll see you in 2015!
5 Ways your Year-End Gift can Help Save Land in Central Alabama
The Freshwater Land Trust dedicates every dollar donated to groundbreaking projects that preserve Alabama land of irreplaceable natural value. We are incredibly grateful for each of our partners, supporters and friends who commit their hearts to conservation. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish all that we have over the past 18 years—they are the true champions for conservation.
It’s not too late to make your 2014 tax-deductible year-end gift! Your gift to the Freshwater Land Trust directly impacts our conservation work within the Central Alabama eight-county region. Your gift today, however modest, will help preserve the places that matter for tomorrow’s generation.
As you consider giving to the Freshwater Land Trust, here are 5 ways your contribution helps save critical land in Central Alabama:
Make your 2014 tax-deductible gift online here: