Birmingham “nature” resolutions for 2018

Birmingham Alabama
Birmingham Alabama
Majestic Cahaba Lily, photo by Pat Byington, Bham Now

It is an annual tradition.  Each new year, when the calendar turns over, we make resolutions.

In that spirit, in lieu of suggesting the traditional  “new gym membership” or  “weigh loss program,”  Bham Now has made a list of  2018 Birmingham nature resolutions.

The Magic City is blessed with a number of groups that cater to budding bird-lovers, recyclers or folks that just want to take a walk in the woods or learn how to paddle on a creek.

Here is Bham Now’s 2018 New Year Nature Resolutions for Birmingham:

Become a birdwatcher – The Birmingham Audubon Society is one of our community’s most treasured organizations.  Founded in 1935, they have been experiencing a renaissance in the last couple of years, increasing staff and offering many more programs. Check out their monthly calendar, and we suggest people interested in becoming a birder to take the Tom Imhof Memorial Beginner Bird Walk on January 6th.

Birmingham Alabama
Painted Bunting – photo by Ken Hare

Get your hands dirty – Ever wanted to become an amateur arborist, native plant gardener, lover of ferns… you name it!  The Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers year-round classes on nearly every nature topic imaginable. here is the key to get involved. First explore their website. Then, figure out your interest and contact Alice Moore, the Gardens Volunteer Coordinator at 414-3962.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Native plant volunteers at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale at Brookwood Village

Hike all the trails at Ruffner Mountain and Red Mountain – Did you know that both Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve and Red Mountain Park are each large in acreage than New York City’s Central Park.  Resolve in 2018 to hike all approximately 30 miles of trails on both preserves. Here are the trail maps – Ruffner Mountain and Red Mountain Park.

Ruffner Lookout Fire Tower
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve Lookout Tower

Learn how to paddle and see the Cahaba Lily – It is on everyone’s bucket list.   From mid-May to June the famous Cahaba Lilies appear.  Resolve to schedule a trip. Meanwhile, learn how to canoe (it is not as easy as it seems) with the Birmingham Canoe Club and connect with the Cahaba River Society about their Spring float trips.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Birmingham’s premier recycling organization is the Alabama Environmental Council. Resolve to recycle every week at their Center in Avondale by not only contributing your recyclables but also collecting your neighbor’s glass, paper, aluminum and plastics. Aim to reduce the trash you  throwaway by half, perhaps even more. And if you can, talk to the AEC about volunteering.

Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center & Office Building

Buy School-grown Vegetables – There are seven Jones Valley Teaching Farms at schools across Birmingham. Resolve in 2018 to find out when the schools will be selling their school-grown vegetables and then make a weekly purchase. Contact Jones Valley Teaching Farms for the days and times the fresh vegetables will be made available to the public.

Of course, this list just scratches the surface.  Check out Bham Now’s Nature/Conservation Directory of the many organization around Birmingham and the state that are doing good work.

Explore the list, and resolve to support them in 2018.

Bham Now Nature Roundup end of the year conservation directory

 

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.