We are The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust, a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion whose mis­sion is the acqui­si­tion and stew­ard­ship of lands that enhance water qual­ity and pre­serve open space. Since 1996, we have worked to acquire, con­serve, and con­nect lands that are crit­i­cal for the pro­tec­tion of rivers and streams and that pro­vide recre­ational oppor­tu­ni­ties for the community.

We own and man­age more than 5,000 acres, mak­ing us one of the largest own­ers of pri­vate nature pre­serves in the state of Alabama. With our many part­ners, we have helped pro­tect more than 10,000 acres through­out Cen­tral Alabama.

The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is based in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama and works to pre­serve the places that mat­ter in Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jef­fer­son, Shelby, St. Clair, Walker and Tuscaloosa coun­ties. We are nation­ally accred­ited by the Land Trust Accred­i­ta­tion Com­mis­sion, a mark of dis­tinc­tion that indi­cates we meet national stan­dards of excel­lence, uphold the pub­lic trust and ensure con­ser­va­tion efforts are permanent. With a dedicated Board of Directors and trained staff, we are well equipped to use our extensive conservation toolbox to assist landowners interested in preserving their land’s con­ser­va­tion val­ues, such as fam­ily farms and work­ing forests, scenic views, his­tor­i­cal sites, pub­lic recre­ation, and nat­ural habi­tats for rare plants and animals.

How we help

Cahaba Lilly Canoe trip_00010_110611The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is proud of our non-advocacy, busi­nesslike approach to our con­ser­va­tion efforts. We work with governments, corporations, and pri­vate landown­ers to find win-win solu­tions that pro­tect the land and the inter­ests of the landowner and allow our com­mu­nity to grow economically.

We pro­tect land through a num­ber of dif­fer­ent meth­ods. The most com­mon con­ser­va­tion tools we use are (1) land acqui­si­tion and (2) con­er­va­tion ease­ments. But, some of our most suc­cess­ful projects are secured not through acqui­si­tion or ease­ments, but through part­ner­ships. Red Moun­tain­Park, a 1,108-acre (and grow­ing) tract of land that stretches 4.5 miles along Red Moun­tain in south­west­ern Jef­fer­son County, was cre­ated through a ter­rific part­ner­ship of many dif­fer­ent indi­vid­uals and orga­ni­za­tions. Read the excit­ing story of Red Moun­tain Park here.

Continuing a successful history

In 1924, the nation­ally renowned land­scape archi­tec­ture firm of Olm­sted Broth­ers devel­oped a park and nat­ural areas plan for Birm­ing­ham and the sur­round­ing areas. At that time, com­mu­nity lead­ers failed to imple­ment the plan largely due to a lack of ded­i­cated fund­ing for the project. Many of the areas that the Olm­sted Broth­ers rec­om­mended to be pre­served as green space have since been devel­oped. The Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust is work­ing to bring part of the orig­i­nal Olm­sted Plan back to life and to cre­ate a net­work of con­nected spaces through­out north-central Alabama.

You can help

It is our hope that our gen­er­a­tion will be remem­bered as the one who restored our rivers and made land con­ser­va­tion a pri­or­ity. There are ways you can help .You can donate your time or resources to the Fresh­wa­ter Land Trust.