10 ways to celebrate Earth Day featuring actions you can take in Birmingham

kids in the gardens
Photo courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

“Think Globally and Act Locally”  

For most of us, that bumper sticker slogan best represents Earth Day.  We all want to know…

What can I do personally to protect and preserve my little piece of the planet right here in Birmingham?

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, I’ve compiled some of my favorite Bham Now earth-friendly stories featuring planet saving actions you can take right here in the Magic City.

Let’s check them out. 

Birmingham’s Garden of Eden

flowers
Photo courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Just last week, Bham Now’s Beth Cunningham gave our readers a virtual tour of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 

Take a walk through Birmingham Botanical Gardens—virtually, of course!

The gardens are truly one of our most cherished community treasures. Not only are they beautiful, the Friends of  Birmingham Botanical Gardens provides nature based workshops and educational opportunities year-round.  Joining the Friends of  BBG is invaluable – and that includes membership perks for their Native Plant sales!

You Are What You Eat

Birmingham, West Homewood Farmer's Market, Birmingham Farmer's Markets
Photo via West Homewood Farmer’s Market.

Food from local farms is more nutritious and eco-friendly. Period.  One of the best things you can do ecologically is support your local farmer.  Why buy fruits and vegetables from all over the world when most of it can come within a hundred mile radius.

17 ways you can get farm-fresh food via curbside or delivery in Birmingham now

In praise of Birmingham-area farmers + what you can do to help

Protect Our Pollinators!

Ruffner Mountain Birmingham Alabama
10 ways to celebrate Earth Day featuring actions you can take in Birmingham 10

Did you know one southeastern blueberry bee can pollinate 6000 flowers in their lifetime. We need bees more than you can imagine.

The good folks at Birmingham-Southern College know it too.  That’s why they are promoting bee and pollinator gardens. Back in March they gave us some helpful tips on how to create your garden too.

BeeSC is buzzing—check out their pollinator gardens + learn how to make your own

Ruffner Mountain Birmingham Alabama
Favorite bee “condo” at Ruffner Mountain. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Ruffner Mountain’s Bee Condos

Be Like Julia Tutwiler

IMG 1926 e1576070711155 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day featuring actions you can take in Birmingham
Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Late last year, Bham Now produced a series of stories about Alabama’s native plants and their importance to our landscape.  We provided loads of helpful tips and who knew Julia Tutwiler, one of Alabama’s most celebrated women in state history discovered one of the rarest plants in the world!

6 ways to become an Alabama native plant champion like Julia Tutwiler

Who’s bringing back native plants to the landscape of Alabama? Take a look and see.

How and Where to Plant Trees

IMG 1649 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day featuring actions you can take in Birmingham
Tree planting at East Lake Park on November 16, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Here is an April 22nd tip on tree planting.  In Alabama, April is NOT a good month to plant trees . Try December and January, and early February.  On April 1st of this year, we published a story about the best kinds of trees to plant in Birmingham. We also featured the work of the Nature Conservancy in Alabama and all the great urban forestry opportunities they are offering.

What you can do to protect Alabama’s natural health and beauty

Know What Is “In” Your Water Swim and Fish Guides

Coosa Riverkeeper
Coosa Riverkeeper’s Justinn Overton

When you go swimming in a lake, river or creek, do you know if it is safe to do so?  Thanks to the Coosa Riverkeeper they have led the “Right to Know” movement in Alabama.  A few years back they created the Swim and Fish Guides.  What are they? Simply put, the Coosa Riverkeeper monitors the waters and fish advisories in the Coosa Watershed and through a little bit of technology, they warn you when it is safe to eat fish and swim.  Important stuff.  

“We Dare to Defend Our Rights” – FISH GUIDE aims to protect the health and rights of Alabama fishermen and families

Need additional tips on how you can protect our rivers?  A few years ago, we produced a list of river advocates and their programs in and around Birmingham

Alabama’s rivers need you

Groups In and Around Birmingham – Bham Now Nonprofit Directory

Screen Shot 2018 11 06 at 7.56.09 PM 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day featuring actions you can take in Birmingham
Black Warrior Riverkeeper staff and Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School intern (center) investigate the Oak Grove Mine

Birmingham is blessed with a wide variety of groups working on behalf of planet earth.  

The Bham Now nonprofit directory has 14 conservations/nature organizations and the list keeps growing daily.  Is there a group missing on the list?  Urge them to sign up!

Found: 19, showing 5 per page

Focus Environment
Address 2612 Lane Park Rd
City Birmingham
Instagram @bbgardens
Notes A mission-driven membership organization, the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens seeks to protect, nurture, and share the wonders of the Gardens. We are dedicated to serving the Gardens, serving the community, serving our visitors, and inspiring a passion for plants, gardens, and the environment. Join us by becoming a Friend of the Gardens today!

Entity Gasp
Focus Environment
Address 2320 Highland Ave. S, Suite 270
City Birmingham
Facebook @gaspgroup
Instagram @gaspgroup
Donation URL gaspgroup.org/give

Focus Environment
Address 2545 7th Avenue North
City Birmingham
Notes A Birmingham Police Officer who started a Foundation to help all during the Pandemic One face mask at a time , It’s Cool to be Covered

Focus Environment
Address 283 Lyon Lane
City Birmingham
Instagram @redmountainpark

Focus Environment
Address 1214 81st street south
City Birmingham
Facebook @ruffnermountain
Instagram @ruffnermt
Notes Ruffner Mountain is a 1,038 acre urban nature preserve in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama providing science and nature education programming, 14 miles of trails, and a protected area for thousands of species of native flora and fauna. It is a site for Citizen Science programs and an array of scientist conducted research projects, including native bat and amphibian surveys, research into the causes of American Chestnut Blight, and groves of new-growth longleaf pine. Each year, through nature education programming and access to green space, it impacts the lives of countless students and scores of schools and universities across the state. Today, Ruffner Mountain’s mission is to advance the understanding of ecology in a rapidly changing world. Ruffner Mountain provides Jefferson County with a unique public resource because it touches on just about every aspect of life — education, employment growth, youth development, pollution control and, not least, public health.

Dig In

Hope you enjoyed our journey of Bham Now earth-friendly stories that include tips and useful action items. 

My last words of advice this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day comes from the great poet and nature writer Gary Snyder.

“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.”

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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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