Making history: Celebrate the Alabama Environmental Council’s 50th Birthday this week

Alabama Conservancy Recycling Center Birmingham Alabama
Alabama Conservancy Recycling Center Birmingham Alabama
The Alabama Environmental Council’s (Alabama Conservancy) Recycling Center in 1991

Don’t forget, the Alabama Environmental Council (AEC) turns 50 this year, and on Thursday, April 20th at the Clubhouse on Highland they will be celebrating in style at the Annual Green Tie Affair.

Buy your tickets today!
Birmingham Alabama
The official Green Tie Affair 50th Anniversary poster

Established in Birmingham, the Alabama Environmental Council (originally the Alabama Conservancy) was founded in 1967. It is hard to imagine what Alabama would look like without this organization.

Over the years, the Alabama Environmental Council was responsible for the establishment of the Sipsey, Cheaha and Dugger Mountain Wilderness Areas.  Along with the many special places preserved and protected by the AEC, the organization today still operates the longest running and largest non-profit recycling center in the state.

Recently, Bham Now uncovered a 1991 Alabama Conservancy (now AEC) Annual Report. Check out some of the accomplishments that was listed in the report that is now 26 years old:

Alabama Conservancy Birmingham Alabama
Cover of the 1991 Alabama Conservancy, now Alabama Environmental Council Annual Report
  • Recycled over 3.5 million pounds of material at the downtown recycling center.
  • Sponsored with Bruno’s and Alabama Power a Christmas Tree recycling program that recycled and re-purposed 45,000 Christmas Trees statewide.
  • Helped secure a portion of the Chief Ladiga Trail, which today in 2017 connects with the Appalachian Trail.
  • Launched a statewide campaign and testified in Congress  to create the Little River Canyon National Preserve.
  • Prevented the establishment of a  radioactive waste facility in Anniston, Alabama.
  • Distributed funds in support of the Protect Alabama’s Dolphins Campaign along Alabama’s coasts.
  • And began campaigning for the Forever Wild Constitutional Amendment legislation.
1993 Earth Day poster

Fresh off the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day in 1990, the environmental movement in Alabama was growing exponentially in the early 90s.  For example, the AEC’s membership doubled between 1990 to 1992.

This is just a “window” into the long storied 50 year history of the Alabama Environmental Council.  Join the AEC, this coming Thursday, April 20th for the Annual Green Tie Affair (purchase tickets here) at the Clubhouse on Highland.

It is a once in 50 years celebration.

Sipsey Wilderness
The marker recognizing the dedication of the Sipsey Wilderness in 1975

-The author is a former director of the Alabama Environmental Council

 

 

 

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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