Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham supports sustainability and clean water

Alabama Wildlife Center received a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham in 2017

This week, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham  announced that it had given out $1.34 million to 36 area nonprofit organizations that focus on improving economic security and further developing sustainable, livable communities in Jefferson, Blount, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties.

The Community Foundation’s grant making over the years have been a “driving force” in the development of the region’s trail systems, network of green spaces and numerous innovative clean water projects.

Below are descriptions of the foundation’s latest sustainability and livable communities grants that were awarded this month.

Birmingham Alabama
Photo via the Cahaba River Society (CRS)
Green spaces
  • City of Bessemer, $50,000 to extend Bessemer’s first-ever rail to trail from Berkley Ave to Arlington Avenue. The trail is part of the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System and includes the construction of a pedestrian bridge.
  • City of Oneonta, $3,500 to launch Bikes with a Badge, promoting safety and access to Oneonta’s three parks. The program will equip two police officers who will patrol the area on bicycles.
  • Freshwater Land Trust, $50,000 over two years to pilot an Adopt-a-Trail program that will recruit and manage volunteers for upkeep and trash collection along the Red Rock Trail System.
  • Montevallo Development Cooperative District, $30,000 to convert a parking lot in the center of Montevallo into vibrant, interactive green space. The space will provide a community gathering space featuring an outdoor classroom, a Bioswale and event space.
Birmingham Alabama
Rotary Trail – photo from Freshwater Land Trust
Natural environment
  • Alabama Wildlife Center, $60,000 to create a state-of-the-art educational enclosure for the Bald Eagle and Eurasian-eagle owl at the Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park.
  • Black Warrior Riverkeeper, $30,000 over three years to implement ambient water quality monitoring at eight key sites on the river. This will provide data to establish a baseline for overall water quality in the river.
  • Cahaba Riverkeeper, $12,000 over two years to support the Bank Assessment Stability and Sediment project. The project will be the first-ever longitudinal survey of the Cahaba River and is critical to long-term ecosystem protection and restoration.
  • Coosa Riverkeeper, Inc., $30,000 over three years to hire a program manager to meet increasing demand for public education, manage Swim and Fish Guide programs and add organizational capacity for fundraising and development.
Coosa Riverkeeper
Coosa Riverkeeper’s Justinn Overton
  • Magic City Woodworks, $30,000 to purchase a kiln to speed the utilization of donated hardwood for projects that help train apprentices, provide low-cost furniture to families in need and improve environmental sustainability measures.

Over the past year, Bham Now has written several stories about some of the projects that were awarded a grant this month by the Community Foundation Here is a sample of stories we published in 2017.

Coosa Riverkeeper :  Read before you go fishing – Alabama’s 2017 fish consumption advisory

Alabama Wildlife Center – Rock stars – Bald Eagles and Eurasian Eagle Owl to make the Alabama Wildlife Center a major destination for bird lovers

The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham is making a positive difference throughout our community and region. To learn more, visit their website at



Pat Byington
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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