We conserve and care for land in Central Alabama, with a focus on conservation projects that enhance water qual­ity in our rivers and streams. 

Did you know that Alabama is the fifth most bio­log­i­cally-diverse state in the nation? Alabama has more than 18 river sys­tems and more fresh­wa­ter species diver­sity than any other state. It is home to 35% of our nation’s fresh­wa­ter fish with 11 specifcs that are only found here.

We work to promote clean water and protect these unique ecosystems by col­lab­o­rat­ing with willing landown­ers to ensure their lands are permanently protected. Every piece of land is unique in how it contributes to our natural environment, e.g. fam­ily farms, work­ing forests, scenic views, his­tor­i­cal sites, opportunities for pub­lic recre­ation, and habi­tats for rare plants and ani­mals. By partnering with landown­ers and other civic, business, and community groups, we are able to conserve more land and make a bigger, positive impact on our environment, while involving everyone in the community.

In 2009, we con­ducted more than 20 pub­lic stake­holder meet­ings with hun­dreds of peo­ple from dif­fer­ent walks of life. From these conversations, we iden­tified pri­or­ity conservation areas that focus our work. You can read more about our priority conservation areas below.

Our goal is to save 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. With your help, we will leave a price­less legacy, and those who enjoy these lands many cen­turies from now will thank us for it.

Cane Creek Watershed

The Cane Creek Water­shed is a major stream cor­ri­dor between Jasper and Cor­dova. In addi­tion to being a pop­u­lar fish­ing and canoe­ing stream, Cane Creek has tremen­dous poten­tial for devel­op­ment as a pub­lic recre­ational resource. It con­tains the most impor­tant Pale­o­zoic amphib­ian track­way site in the world and has great poten­tial for fur­ther devel­op­ment as a sci­en­tific attraction.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to con­tinue efforts to preserve sites along the Cane Creek Water­shed.

Locust Fork River Watershed

The Locust Fork River Water­shed is an impor­tant con­ser­va­tion focus area for the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust. The largest undammed river in Alabama, it is a crit­i­cal habi­tat for six species of endan­gered mus­sels and con­tains 74 known fish species, 12 of which are endan­gered or threat­ened. It is also a sig­nif­i­cant drink­ing water source for Birmingham.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to con­tinue efforts to preserve sites along the Locust Fork River Water­shed.

Big and Little Canoe Creek Watershed

The Big and Lit­tle Canoe Creek Water­shed is a pri­or­ity area of the work of the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust and is incred­i­bly sig­nif­i­cant for many rea­sons. Big and Lit­tle Canoe Creeks are home to 54 known species of fish and 23 rare and imper­iled plants and ani­mals doc­u­mented through­out the water­shed. The water­shed is also home to a species of mus­sel (Canoe Creek club­shell) that is entirely new to sci­ence and was recently dis­cov­ered. It also has a key pop­u­la­tion of the tri-spot darter, a rare fish once thought to be extinct in Alabama.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to con­tinue efforts to preserve sites along the Big and Lit­tle Canoe Creek Water­shed.

Turkey Creek Watershed

The Turkey Creek Water­shed is a haven for three crit­i­cally endan­gered and endemic fish species (the ver­mil­ion, water­cress, and rush darters). It also har­bors the endan­gered flat­tened musk tur­tle. The water­shed is also home to the Turkey Creek Nature Pre­serve that con­tains the his­toric Turkey Creek Falls.

Click here for more infor­ma­tion on the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust’s efforts to help cre­ate the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to con­tinue efforts to preserve sites along the Turkey Creek Water­shed.

Urban Greenways Including Village, Valley and Five Mile Creeks

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust has a great inter­est in Urban Green­ways includ­ing Vil­lage, Val­ley and Five Mile Creeks. These areas have the high­est urban pop­u­la­tion den­sity any­where in Alabama, rep­re­sent­ing the indus­trial heart of Alabama for over a cen­tury. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is also work­ing with mul­ti­ple pub­lic and pri­vate part­ners here to cre­ate the Our One Mile green­way mas­ter plan- a chain­ing together of urban green space, pub­lic blue­ways, bicy­cle and pedes­trian cor­ri­dors, and com­mu­nity gar­dens through­out these watersheds.

Please click on the links to see the work the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust has done in Seven Springs along Val­ley Creek, Vil­lage Creek and Five Mile Creek.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to con­tinue efforts to preserve sites along Vil­lage Creek, Val­ley Creek and Five Mile Creek.

Cahaba River Watershed

The Cahaba River Water­shed is unique among North Amer­i­can rivers, with a greater diver­sity of fish species for its size than any other river. It is a crit­i­cal habi­tat for eight endan­gered species of mus­sels and con­tains the largest remain­ing pop­u­la­tion of the shoals spi­der (Cahaba) lily. The Cahaba River flows through the largest met­ro­pol­i­tan area in Alabama, affording tremendous opportunities for out­door recre­ation and envi­ron­men­tal education.

Click here to read about the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust’s efforts along Shades Creek.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to con­tinue efforts to preserve sites along the Cahaba River Water­shed.

Hurricane Creek Watershed

The FWLT is work­ing to fur­ther conservation efforts in Tuscaloosa along Hurricane Creek. Hurricane Creek, a des­ti­na­tion for wild­flower enthu­si­asts, is extremely impor­tant because it has incred­i­ble plant diver­sity noted by famed Alabama botanist, Roland Harper, in the early 1900s. It also con­tains four rare plant species on Alabama’s Species Watch List.

Shoal Creek Watershed

The Shoal Creek Water­shed includes impor­tant head­wa­ters that are bio­log­i­cal “hotspots,” in addi­tion to pro­vid­ing clean water that sup­ports the habi­tat of sev­eral rare fish and mus­sel species fur­ther down­stream in the Lit­tle Cahaba River. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, the City of Mon­te­vallo and the Uni­ver­sity of Mon­te­vallo are work­ing to pro­tect these head­wa­ters as the area’s pop­u­la­tion grows, and to pro­vide parks and green­ways for pub­lic recre­ation and envi­ron­men­tal education.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to con­tinue efforts to preserve sites along the Shoal Creek Water­shed.

Bux­a­hatchee Creek Water­shed

The Bux­a­hatchee Creek Water­shed is an impor­tant con­ser­va­tion focus area for the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust. It is home to sub­stan­tial pop­u­la­tions of the rare cold­wa­ter darter as well as four plant species on Alabama’s Species Watch List and one threat­ened mus­sel species. The Bux­a­hatchee Creek Water­shed Restora­tion Project is work­ing with landown­ers to improve land man­age­ment prac­tices to help enhance water qual­ity in the creek.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to con­tinue efforts to preserve sites along the Bux­a­hatchee Creek Water­shed. Please stay tuned for more information.

Exist­ing con­ser­va­tion efforts include the Buxahatchee Creek Watershed Restoration Project, which is coor­di­nated by the CAWACO RC & D Coun­cil and funded through the Alabama Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment. The project is designed to work with landown­ers to improve land man­age­ment prac­tices to help enhance water qual­ity in the creek.