Welcome Stan Palla

Dennis Pillion Tour_00015_150720Excit­ing news for the Red Rock Ridge & Val­ley Trail Sys­tem.…we are pleased to announce that Stan Palla has joined our team as the 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 Moun­tain Nature Preserve’s pro­gram­ming and grounds as the organization’s exec­u­tive direc­tor. His love for cycling led him to be the Direc­tor for the Alabama Bicy­cle Coali­tion, in which he effec­tively passed the 3-foot pass­ing law in Alabama to pro­tect cyclists on the road. On top of 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 Stanpass up the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley posi­tion and sees this as an oppor­tu­nity to leave a last­ing legacy for Birm­ing­ham, Jef­fer­son County and the well being of it cit­i­zens. As the Red Rock Trail Direc­tor, Stan will work with our many part­ners to build the 750-mile trail sys­tem through­out Jef­fer­son County, con­nect­ing our com­mu­nity to the places they want to go.

Wel­come, Stan, to the Fresh­wa­ter family!

Restoring Valley Creek

Photo by Zac Napier

Photo by Zac Napier

We are hon­ored to receive fund­ing from the Shan­non Mine Sup­ple­men­tal Envi­ron­men­tal Project (SEP) agree­ment between the Black War­rior River­keep­ers and Shan­non, LLC, a sub­sidiary of Drum­mond Co., to sup­port restora­tion projects within the Val­ley Creek water­shed, restor­ing flood plains and remov­ing inva­sive species. Thank you to all the par­ties who made this fund­ing pos­si­ble and for help­ing the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust advance its mis­sion of pre­serv­ing the places that matter.

For more infor­ma­tion on this set­tle­ment click here.


Party on the Porch

POP posterJoin us and our part­ners at Alabama Out­doors for the third Party on the Porch event of the sum­mer to ben­e­fit Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust!

Enjoy live music from Jason Bai­ley and Old Fash­ioned Rhythm Method, deli­cious food from Can­tina On Wheels, and refresh­ing local draft beer from Cahaba Brew­ing, avail­able in a $10 col­lectible cup (and served from the awe­some YETI jockey box). Bring your friends and fam­ily for corn hole and face paint­ing for kids (while sup­plies last).

Also, don’t miss your chance to win some awe­some give­aways! We’ll be raf­fling two pairs of tick­ets to Land Aid 2015, our sig­na­ture event at Avon­dale Brew­ery com­ing up on July 31st!

We are so excited to kick off the sum­mer with this event and share some excit­ing news about our upcom­ing projects and events. So bring your lawn chairs and blan­kets and come Party on the Porch with us!

Join our Face­book event and invite friends here.

Read more about Land Aid 2015 pre­sented by Vul­can Value Part­ners here.

Urban Waters Impact

VCThanks to the EPA’s Urban Waters Pro­gram, the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust has been able to accom­plish great things in the Vil­lage Creek water­shed in Birm­ing­ham with our many com­mu­nity part­ners. We are proud to share these suc­cess sto­ries with other urban waters part­ners across the coun­try through the Urban Waters Learn­ing Network.

Check out our impact story here.

Land Aid 2015

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is excited to announce that their 7th annual Land Aid event will be held on Fri­day, July 31, at Avon­dale Brew­ery. The event will be head­lined by Kopecky, an Amer­i­can indie-rock band.

Nashville-based Kopecky (for­merly the Kopecky Fam­ily Band) recently released their sopho­more album, Drug for the Mod­ern Age. Kopecky has had their music appear on a vari­ety of hit tele­vi­sion series includ­ing Grey’s Anatomy, Par­ent­hood, The Vam­pire Diaries and Nashville, among oth­ers. Kopecky has toured all over the world and have played at some of the largest music fes­ti­vals includ­ing Austin City Lim­its, Bum­ber­shoot, SXSW, Lol­la­palooza and most recently Hang­out Fes­ti­val in Gulf Shores.

Pro­ceeds from Land Aid ben­e­fit the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, a Birmingham-based non­profit orga­ni­za­tion whose mis­sion is to con­serve and con­nect open spaces that are crit­i­cal for the pro­tec­tion of rivers and streams and that pro­vide recre­ational oppor­tu­ni­ties for the com­mu­ni­ties it serves. The event is hosted by the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust junior board, a diverse group of young pro­fes­sion­als com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing the organization’s mis­sion through­out the com­mu­nity and region.

Our annual flag­ship event, Land Aid, is an oppor­tu­nity for res­i­dents to learn more about our work and sup­port our efforts to con­serve land through­out Cen­tral Alabama,” said Wendy Jack­son, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust. “Since 2007, thou­sands of atten­dees have helped make Land Aid a suc­cess and ulti­mately help­ing to ful­fill our mis­sion to pre­serve the places that mat­ter for future generations.”

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust secures land through acqui­si­tion or ease­ments, with the help of many part­ner­ships serv­ing eight coun­ties in Cen­tral Alabama. Through the efforts of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust staff, board of direc­tors and junior board, more than 10,000 acres of land have been pro­tected across Cen­tral Alabama.

Tick­ets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. To pur­chase tick­ets or learn more about Land Aid, please visit www.freshwaterlandtrust.org.


Best Town Ever!

Birm­ing­ham Named in Out­side Mag­a­zine Best Towns 2015

voteOUTSIDE 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!

Preserving History

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.


FWLT tree plant­ing cer­e­mony, Novem­ber 2012

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.”


Cherry trees then (Nov. 2012)

Cosby Lake_00003_150325

Cherry trees now (March 2015)




Birdies for Charity

Birdies for Charity - newThe 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.

Click HERE to donate online

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.

Pro­gram Perks

There are sev­eral ben­e­fits to donors who con­tribute to the Birdies for Char­ity event:

  • Any donor who makes a pledge or a flat dona­tion to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is eli­gi­ble to win a Good-Any-One-Day Grounds ticket for the Regions Tra­di­tion at Shoal Creek Coun­try Club, as well as a Fresh­wa­ter­Land Trust car­rier cooler, hat, t-shirt and water bot­tle. We’ll draw win­ners through­out the tour­na­ment, so donate any time to be entered to win!
  • All donors will also be able to par­tic­i­pate in the “Guess the Birdies Con­test,” when they make their dona­tion online or via the pledge card.This allows entrants to guess the num­ber of birdies that will be made dur­ing the tour­na­ment for a grand prize of two Weekly Gallery ticket pack­ages to the 2016 U.S. Open Cham­pi­onship at Oak­mont Coun­try Club in Oak­mont, PA. Guess by May 13th for your chance to win when you are mak­ing your donation.
  • Donors are also entered into a weekly give­away draw­ing each Fri­day, which includes prizes such as gift cer­tifi­cates, 2015 Iron Bowl tick­ets, a Joe Namath auto­graphed foot­ball, and more! Fol­low the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust on Face­book to stay updated on the weekly prize giveaway.

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

Valentine’s “Getaway”


Cosby Lake_00030_131118Want 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:

  1. Red Moun­tain Park Lover’s Leap Adven­ture Tour: Our friends at Red Moun­tain Park have the per­fect out­door date for you. Zip line at the new Kaul Adven­ture Tower, or enjoy a guided hike in the park with com­pli­men­tary flow­ers and a fire­side din­ner and dessert. Click here for more details.
  2. Falling” in Love at Turkey Creek: What is more roman­tic than sit­ting and lis­ten­ing to the falls at sun­set at Turkey Creek Nature Pre­serve? Visit Turkey Creek for the ulti­mate Valentine’s get­away at one of Alabama’s most beau­ti­ful out­door places just 20 min­utes out­side of Birmingham.
  3. Pic­nic on the Cahaba: Every­one loves din­ner by the river. Pack a pic­nic and wine and dine together by the beau­ti­ful Cahaba River (but don’t for­get to pick up your trash!)
  4. Explore Moss Rock Pre­serve: Get your hearts’ pump­ing at the Moss Rock Pre­serve boul­der field. Moss Rock Pre­serve in Hoover appeals to climbers and explor­ers of all skill levels—the per­fect adven­ture for the two of you.
  5. Visit Vul­can: Spend Valentine’s Day with Vul­can him­self. Visit the museum and enjoy the absolutely spec­tac­u­lar views of the Birm­ing­ham with your spe­cial someone.