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


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.

Donor Spotlight

bob and ann tate: mak­ing a dif­fer­ence today and forever

Bob and Ann

Wendy Jack­son, Ann Tate, Bob Tate

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!



Protection Priorities


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:

  • Water Qual­ity Pro­tec­tion: Our num­ber one pri­or­ity areas include those with higher risk of ero­sion. We strive in all our projects to pro­tect lands that enhance the water qual­ity of our rivers and streams.
  • Bio­log­i­cal Con­ser­va­tion: Alabama is the fifth most bio­log­i­cally diverse state in the coun­try, so it is extremely impor­tant to pro­tect habi­tats that sup­port rare species and bio­log­i­cal communities.
  • Recre­ational Poten­tial: Another aspect of our mis­sion is to con­serve lands that pro­vide recre­ational oppor­tu­ni­ties for the com­mu­ni­ties we serve. Open spaces within or near highly pop­u­lated areas are a major pri­or­ity for us.
  • Impor­tant Con­nec­tors:  When con­sid­er­ing con­ser­va­tion projects, we look for link­ages between exist­ing pre­served areas. This increases the acreage we can pro­tect and ben­e­fits the land already protected.
  • Com­mu­nity Con­ser­va­tion Pri­or­i­ties:  Any open space that has the poten­tial to ben­e­fit its com­mu­nity ranks high on our pri­or­ity list. His­tor­i­cal sites, bicy­cle or pedes­trian routes, view­sheds, etc. all con­tribute to the qual­ity of life of the com­mu­ni­ties we serve.