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.

 

Partner Happenings

 

Father Nature land­scapes helps restore turkey creek streambank

 

Father Nature Land­scapes, one of our Cor­po­rate Part­ners for Con­ser­va­tion, recently Turkey Creek cu 1_00035_140513 Turkey Creek cu 1_00034_140513revis­ited 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.

A Look Back

 

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:

  1. Some good dam progress: Thanks to fund­ing from the National Fish & Wildlife Foun­da­tion, we were able to sta­bi­lize and restore the stream bank at Turkey Creek fol­low­ing our Old Shadow Lake dam removal project in 2013.
  2. Restor­ing Tapawingo Springs: We part­nered with Waste Man­age­ment of Alabama to remove and trans­port trash from the for­mer mobile home park at Tapawingo Springs. These efforts con­tributed to another phase of our long-term restora­tion plan to return Tapawingo Springs to its nat­ural wet­land state.
  3. Meet­ing E.O. Wil­son: Bishop Heron John­son, founder of Faith Apos­tolic ChurchEOWilson and owner of Seven Springs, and Dr. E.O. Wil­son were finally able to meet in per­son at the Uni­ver­sity of Alabama’s E.O. Wil­son week pro­gram. Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Wendy Jack­son was hon­ored to share the story of how these cham­pi­ons for bio­di­ver­sity were brought together by the dis­cov­ery of the Water­cress Darter at Seven Springs.
  4. Canoe­ing the Cahaba: This year, we hosted our largest canoe trip yet! As a thank you for their com­mit­ment to our orga­ni­za­tion, we enjoyed a relax­ing day pad­dling the Cahaba with our clos­est part­ners and friends. Spe­cial thanks to Partners Canoe Trip 14_00042_140516David But­ler with Canoe the Cahaba for help­ing us coor­di­nate our annual canoe trip!
  5. A Visit from Sec­re­tary Jew­ell: Sec­re­tary Sally Jew­ell of the US Depart­ment of Inte­rior came to tour the city of Birm­ing­ham and dis­cuss renewed fund­ing for the Land and Water Con­ser­va­tion Fund. Wendy Jack­son was able to par­tic­i­pate in the tour, show­ing Sec­re­tary Jew­ell the best of Birmingham’s parks and greenspaces.
  6. Wing­spread:  Wendy Jack­son also had the oppor­tu­nity to attend the Wing­spread Con­fer­ence at the John­son Foun­da­tion in Racine, Wis­con­sin, were she and the best and bright­est of health pro­fes­sion­als and con­ser­va­tion­ists through­out the United States came together to cre­ate the Wing­spread Dec­la­ra­tion on Health and Nature. The dec­la­ra­tion is an offi­cial affir­ma­tion that empha­sizes the fun­da­men­tal need for humans to be re-connected with nature to reduce stress, renew the spirit, con­nect peo­ple to each other, and increase phys­i­cal activity.
  7. Moti­va­tion Mantra:  June kept us moti­vated this year with her always enthu­si­astijunec pas­sion for play­ing out­side. Thanks June for being one of our hard­est work­ing team members!
  8. Reac­cred­ited!: The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust received renewed accred­i­ta­tion in 2014, a mark of dis­tinc­tion in the land trust com­mu­nity that ensures we uphold stan­dards of excel­lence in all our con­ser­va­tion work.
  9. Interns Mak­ing an Impact: We were so grate­ful to work with some out­stand­ing young pro­fes­sion­als this year through our intern­ship pro­gram. Con­grat­u­la­tions Brit­tain Williams, Kaitlin Goins, Blake Scow­den, Parker White, Gurangu Zhu, Eliz­a­beth Liv­ingston, and Thomas Kulovitz on an out­stand­ing future ahead of you, and thank you for your hard work and dedication.
  10. A Party for a Cause: The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust Junior Board hosted anotherLand Aid 2014_00177_140718 suc­cess­ful Land Aid at Avon­dale Brew­ery, a con­cert event that raises money for our con­ser­va­tion efforts while engag­ing the younger Birm­ing­ham community..
  11. Improv­ing Health for Birm­ing­ham: The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust was selected as a part­ner in a $3 mil­lion CDC grant to reduce chronic dis­eases in under­served Birm­ing­ham neigh­bor­hoods by improv­ing nutri­tion and phys­i­cal activity.
  12. Rally 2014: This year, Ryan Parker and Rebekah Parker were both selected to rallypresent at the Land Trust Alliance’s national con­fer­ence in Prov­i­dence, Rhode Island. In addi­tion, Mem­o­rie Eng­lish received a schol­ar­ship to attend the con­fer­ence and net­work with other land trust pro­fes­sion­als on her inau­gural Rally trip.
  13. Wel­com­ing New Lead­er­ship:  In 2014, we sadly said good­bye to two excep­tional Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust Board mem­bers, Malena Cun­ning­ham and Dr. Mike How­ell. We also wel­comed William Perry, Bran­don Glover, Mike Goodrich, Robin Wade and Larry Dav­en­port to our Board, and look for­ward to work­ing with them in 2015! None of our work would be pos­si­ble with­out the out­stand­ing ded­i­ca­tion of our Board of Direc­tors. We can’t thank them enough for their leadership!
  14. A grow­ing Fam­ily: We’re proud to finally and offi­cially announce that our Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust fam­ily is grow­ing! Rebekah Parker and her hus­band Gar­ret and Ryan Parker and his wife Melissa are both expect­ing this sum­mer! We are so excited to wel­come the “baby Park­ers” in May and June of 2015!

From all of us at the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, HAPPY NEW YEAR! We’ll see you in 2015!

2014 Year-End Gift

 

5 Ways your Year-End Gift can Help Save Land in Cen­tral Alabama

Village Creek cu 5_00096_120425The 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:

  1. Pre­serv­ing Nat­ural Her­itage: Alabama is the 5th most bio­log­i­cally diverse state in1 the nation with more than 18 river sys­tems and more fresh­wa­ter species diver­sity than any other state. Alabama is home to 35% of our nation’s fresh­wa­ter fish, 11 of which that are only found here. Sadly, our state ranks 3rd nation­ally for threat­ened or endan­gered species. Your gift allows us to work col­lab­o­ra­tively to pro­tect our trea­sured lands and species and pre­serve the water qual­ity for our rivers and streams.
  2. Con­nect­ing Com­mu­ni­ties:  Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Wendy Jack­son always says that when we pass each other in a car, we’re just name­less wind­shields pass­ing by. But when we cross paths on a trail or con­nect with each other in a park, we see each other’s faces—we nod, we smile, and it con­nects us as a com­mu­nity. The more we con­nect, the bet­ter able we are to grow. Your gift brings our com­mu­ni­ties together by pro­vid­ing access to trails, parks, open space, and most impor­tantly, each other.
  3. Boost­ing Eco­nom­ics:  Pre­serv­ing access to out­door recre­ation pro­tects the econ­omy, the busi­nesses, the com­mu­nity and the peo­ple who depend on the abil­ity to play out­side. At least 57% of Alabama res­i­dents par­tic­i­pate in out­door recre­ation each year. Also in Alabama, out­door recre­ation gen­er­ates $7.5 bil­lion in con­sumer spend­ing, 86,000 direct Alabama jobs, $2.0 bil­lion in wages and salaries, and $494 mil­lion in state and local tax rev­enue (www.outdoorindustry.org/recreationeconomy). Your gift con­serves open spaces that help our com­mu­nity grow economically.
  4. Improv­ing Health:  Time out­doors is known to improve people’s well-being. Peo­ple with­out access to the out­doors can be linked to higher rates of anx­i­ety dis­or­ders and of mood dis­or­ders, such as depres­sion (http://healthandnature.org). How­ever, expo­sure to green space coun­ters these ten­den­cies. Peo­ple who live near nat­ural set­tings are likely to report bet­ter men­tal health; urban parks are known to lower stress and ele­vate mood; and stud­ies have even linked green neigh­bor­hoods with lower rates of obe­sity in chil­dren and longer life spans in elders. Your gift improves our community’s health dis­par­i­ties by recon­nect­ing peo­ple to the outdoors.
  5. Leav­ing a Legacy:  Con­serv­ing land can be a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of pass­ing yourchild family’s most prized pos­ses­sion onto the next gen­er­a­tion. Ensur­ing your land is con­served in its nat­ural state has many ben­e­fits, but per­haps the most grat­i­fy­ing is know­ing that your chil­dren will cher­ish the land you pro­tected. Our goal is to pre­serve the places that mat­ter most to Alabami­ans, so that we can pass along our rich and unique her­itage to those who come after us. Your gift to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust leaves a price­less legacy by con­serv­ing your spe­cial place that mat­ters in per­pe­tu­ity.

 

Make your 2014 tax-deductible gift online here:

 

Leaving a Legacy

A Landowner’s guide to conservation

Village creek cu 5_00057_140117 (3)Since 1996, the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust has been work­ing with pri­vate landown­ers to con­serve the land that is impor­tant to them. How­ever, each year thou­sands of acres of land are irre­triev­ably altered in Alabama. Con­serv­ing land and the nat­ural habi­tats it sup­ports depends on pri­vate landown­ers now more than ever. Landown­ers and their fam­i­lies know what is best for their prop­erty and the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust wants to help find the right con­ser­va­tion method for you. Our mis­sion is to honor the rela­tion­ship between you and your land while devel­op­ing the best con­ser­va­tion option.

Con­ser­va­tion minded landown­ers are increas­ingly using con­ser­va­tion ease­ments to make sen­si­ble and sus­tain­able plans for the future of their land. Each ease­ment is tai­lored to meet the needs of the landowner and the mis­sion of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust to pre­serve the con­ser­va­tion val­ues – the nat­ural resources and habi­tat – of the land.

what is a con­ser­va­tion easement?

Homewood Forest Preserve_00012_050223A con­ser­va­tion ease­ment is a vol­un­tary legal agree­ment between a landowner and a land trust that per­ma­nently restricts cer­tain aspects of land use in order to pro­tect the con­ser­va­tion val­ues of the property.

When a landowner places a con­ser­va­tion ease­ment on his or her land, he or she main­tains own­er­ship and use of the prop­erty and can sell it or pass it on to heirs.

The land is sub­ject to cer­tain restric­tions agreed upon by the landowner and the land trust. For exam­ple, a landowner might agree to limit devel­op­ment on his or her prop­erty to one res­i­dence of a par­tic­u­lar size. Future landown­ers are bound by these restric­tions as well, and the land trust is respon­si­ble for mon­i­tor­ing the prop­erty and uphold­ing the terms of the easement.

Con­ser­va­tion ease­ments have become one of the most com­monly used land con­ser­va­tion tools in the coun­try. Cur­rently, local and regional land trusts hold more than 11,600 con­ser­va­tion ease­ments, pro­tect­ing more than five mil­lion acres of land.

per­pet­u­at­ing perpetuity

childA con­ser­va­tion ease­ment can be a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of pass­ing your land onto the next gen­er­a­tion. Ensur­ing your land is con­served in its nat­ural state can bring many ben­e­fits to you and your fam­ily, but per­haps the most grat­i­fy­ing is know­ing that future gen­er­a­tions will cher­ish the land you pro­tected. Our goal is to pre­serve the places that mat­ter most to Alabami­ans, so that we can pass along our rich and unique nat­ural her­itage to those who come after us. Through a con­ser­va­tion ease­ment, you can leave a price­less legacy by con­serv­ing your spe­cial place that mat­ters in perpetuity.

To learn more about your con­ser­va­tion options, con­tact the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust at 205–417-2777.

 

 

#GivingTuesday

Help us pre­serve the places that matter.

Join us for #GivingTuesday

 

tcnpTurkey Creek Nature Pre­serve, the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail Sys­tem, Moss Rock Pre­serve, Five Mile Creek Greenway…

These are all suc­cess sto­ries made pos­si­ble by Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust part­ners and sup­port­ers. In order to con­tinue this great work, we greatly need your help. Our suc­cess is rooted in your sup­port. Please con­sider a tax-deductible dona­tion – how­ever mod­est – and become a friend of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust.

 

MRPYour gift today on #Giv­ingTues­day will pro­tect Alabama’s unique bio­log­i­cal diver­sity, enhance the water qual­ity of our rivers and streams, and con­serve the excep­tional and irre­place­able nat­ural value of Cen­tral Alabama not just for today, but forever.

 

 

 

Help us pre­serve the places that mat­ter for future gen­er­a­tions. Here’s how you can give:

 

1. Give online via pay­pal by click­ing the but­ton below.

2.  Mail a check to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust at:

2308 First Avenue North

Birm­ing­ham, Al 35203

 

VCHelp spread the word! Please take a moment today to like us on Face­book and fol­low us on Twit­ter. As we cel­e­brate #Giv­ingTues­day, we encour­age you to share what the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust means to you by using the hash­tags #Giv­ingTues­day and #FWLT on social media.

You can save crit­i­cal land in Cen­tral Alabama. Your gift is so impor­tant, and we appre­ci­ate your con­tin­ued sup­port and ded­i­ca­tion to our mis­sion. Thank you for join­ing us as we give back to our com­mu­nity on #GivingTuesday!

 

 

Wingspread

LOGOfreshwater-land-trust#13C4C1

Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust and UAB School of Pub­lic Health Team with National Allies to Com­bat Health Crisis

Coop­er­a­tive Ini­tia­tive Anchored by Wing­spread Declaration

BIRMINGHAM, AL – Dr. Max Michael, Dean of the Uni­ver­sity of Alabama School of Pub­lic Health, and Wendy Jack­son, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, have part­nered with con­ser­va­tion and health lead­ers from across the coun­try to address the dis­con­nect between humans and the outdoors.

Peo­ple are now more dis­con­nected from nature than ever before,” Wendy Jack­son, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust and Wing­spread Dec­la­ra­tion sig­na­tory, said. “It is our respon­si­bil­ity to shift our focus to reaf­firm the impor­tant con­nec­tion between human health with nature for future generations.”

This coop­er­a­tive ini­tia­tive is anchored by the Wing­spread Dec­la­ra­tion, a doc­u­ment signed by 31 of America’s lead­ing health offi­cials, aca­d­e­mics and conservation-focused non­prof­its, includ­ing Yale Uni­ver­sity, the National Land Trust Alliance, Kaiser Per­ma­nente, Chil­dren and Nature Net­work, and the Open Space Insti­tute. The Dec­la­ra­tion calls for action from health, envi­ron­men­tal, aca­d­e­mic, gov­ern­men­tal and cor­po­rate actors to coop­er­a­tively recon­nect peo­ple with the out­doors and secure new com­mit­ments to pro­tect access to green spaces.

This Ini­tia­tive rec­og­nizes the impor­tance of a liv­able envi­ron­ment for our health and well-being, includ­ing the oppor­tu­nity to spend time out­side enjoy­ing the ben­e­fits of that envi­ron­ment,” Dr. Max Michael, Dean of UAB School of Pub­lic Health, said. “By sign­ing this Dec­la­ra­tion, it is hoped we bring fur­ther atten­tion to the remark­able invest­ments our com­mu­nity is mak­ing in cre­at­ing the Red Rock Ridge and Val­ley Trail sys­tem, for example.”

This new ini­tia­tive comes at a time when more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, incur­ring $148 bil­lion in med­ical costs annu­ally and con­tribut­ing to 18% of U.S. adult deaths. Pub­licly avail­able data shows U.S. health­care costs are the high­est per capita in the world – and that amount con­tin­ues to increase, par­tic­u­larly in Alabama and the south­east­ern United States.

Time out­doors is known to improve people’s well-being. Peo­ple with­out access to the out­doors can be linked to higher rates of anx­i­ety dis­or­ders and of mood dis­or­ders, such as depres­sion. How­ever, expo­sure to green space coun­ters these ten­den­cies. Peo­ple who live near nat­ural set­tings are likely to report bet­ter men­tal health; urban parks are known to lower stress and ele­vate mood; and stud­ies have even linked green neigh­bor­hoods with lower rates of obe­sity in chil­dren and longer life spans in elders.

Pro­vid­ing peo­ple with mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions to parks, trails and green spaces cre­ate an envi­ron­ment where healthy choices are easy choices,” Jack­son said. “These con­nec­tions will trans­form the phys­i­cal, eco­nomic, envi­ron­men­tal and social well-being of our com­mu­ni­ties, and the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is proud to be play­ing an active role in this impor­tant ini­tia­tive with part­ners like UAB’s School of Pub­lic Health.”

Health and con­ser­va­tion lead­ers are dis­cussing and sup­port­ing the Wing­spread Dec­la­ra­tion this week at mile­stone meet­ings in New Orleans and Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. Over 13,000 health providers at the Amer­i­can Pub­lic Health Association’s annual meet­ing in New Orleans and 5,000 parks and con­ser­va­tion pro­fes­sion­als at the IUCN World Parks Con­gress in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, will learn more about the Dec­la­ra­tion and its goals.

Addi­tional sup­port­ers are also respond­ing to the Declaration’s call on health insti­tu­tions to include nature in their prac­tices and pre­scrip­tions; call on schools to ensure all chil­dren grow up con­nected to nature; call on elected offi­cials and phil­an­thropists to invest in parks, trails and green spaces; and call on employ­ers to recon­nect their employ­ees with nature.

We are for­tu­nate and excited to be a part of this grow­ing national move­ment that makes Birm­ing­ham a national leader in assur­ing every­one in our com­mu­nity reaps the health ben­e­fits of the out­doors,” said Dr. Max Michael.

Visit www.healthandnature.org to learn more about and endorse the Wing­spread Declaration.

About the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust

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. It is accred­ited by the Land Trust Accred­i­ta­tion Com­mis­sion, which rec­og­nizes it as meet­ing stan­dards of excel­lence, uphold­ing the public’s trust and ensur­ing that con­ser­va­tion efforts are per­ma­nent. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust con­serves land in Jef­fer­son, Shelby, Blount, Chilton, Bibb, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, and Walker coun­ties. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www.freshwaterlandtrust.org.

About the Uni­ver­sity of Alabama at Birm­ing­ham School of Pub­lic Health

www.soph.uab.edu

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Another Dam Update

 

Well…it’s been a dam year! This week we cel­e­brate the one year anniver­sary of the removal of Old Shadow Lake Dam on Turkey Creek—one of our most suc­cess­ful projects with impact­ful results.

One year ago, the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust suc­cess­fully removed Old Shadow Lake Dam on Turkey Creek near Pin­son. Not only was the dan­ger­ous struc­ture removed, but the project also 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.

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Thanks to fund­ing from the National Fish and Wildlife Foun­da­tion, the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is mov­ing for­ward with replant­i­ngs to sta­bi­lize the bank fol­low­ing the removal. Father Nature Land­scapes, a Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust sup­porter, has been a huge help in deter­min­ing appro­pri­ate species and place­ment of the plants to best serve the creek bank. Next steps in the restora­tion project include sam­pling the ver­mil­ion darter pop­u­la­tion to see if they are thriv­ing in their addi­tional half mile of habi­tat. We are also hop­ing to host more work days at the site to remove inva­sive species and con­tinue to estab­lish veg­e­ta­tion to secure the creek bank.

This project was only accom­plished through part­ner­ships with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice, Action Envi­ron­men­tal, National Fish and Wildlife Foun­da­tion, Vul­can Mate­ri­als Com­pany, Alabama Power, Bras­field & Gor­rie Equip­ment and Sup­ply, the City of Clay, and a host of other supporters.

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Con­tin­ued restora­tion work is made pos­si­ble by Alabama Power with a grant through the Five Star Restora­tion Pro­gram, which involves mul­ti­ple part­ners includ­ing Alabama Power and its par­ent com­pany South­ern Com­pany, National Fish and Wildlife Foun­da­tion, and the U.S. Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency.

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As we cel­e­brate the one year anniver­sary of this project, we want to thank our part­ners for their con­tin­ued sup­port on this final phase of the project. We appre­ci­ate your con­tri­bu­tions as we com­plete yet another project with long term impacts and sig­nif­i­cant change for our community.

More on NFWF:

Char­tered by Con­gress in 1984, the National Fish & Wildlife Foun­da­tion (NFWF) pro­tects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife and habi­tats. Work­ing with fed­eral agen­cies, cor­po­ra­tions, foun­da­tions and indi­vid­ual part­ners, NFWF has funded more than 34,000 orga­ni­za­tions and com­mit­ted more than $2.3 bil­lion to con­ser­va­tion projects. For more info on NFWF visit www.nfwf.org.