9 local gifts for the nature nerd in your life

Ruffner Mountain
Now that’s a hoot! (Ruffner Mountain / Facebook)

Seeking a holiday gift for your fave nature nerd? From park memberships to scrumptious honey products, these seven local present ideas are sure to knock their hiking boots off.

1. For your park-loving pal

Red Mountain Park
Red Mountain Park has so much in store for you. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Seeking a gift for your hiking buddy? Give them the gift of a sustained and beautiful park with a Red Mountain Park membership.

Memberships help the park in many way such as:

  • Restoration of the 1500-acre forest
  • Improvements to the 15-mile trail system
  • Upkeep of the six-acre Remy’s Dog Park
  • Interactive learning programs for all ages
  • And more!

Purchase a Red Mountain Park membership

2. For the outdoor explorer 

Outdoor scavenger hunts are the best. (Fresh Air Family / Facebook)

Holiday shopping got you stressed? Breathe easy when you gift a Fresh Air Family membership.

This cool group organizes nature trips and hikes for individuals and families throughout the year. 

Members also receive special benefits like:

  • Access to member-only events
  • Discounts to a Wacky-Tacky Christmas Light Tour + Fossil Hunt
  • Discounts to summer + holiday camps
  • Priority reservations at limited-capacity events

Cost: Individual Membership: $25 per year | Family Membership – $40 per year

Purchase a Fresh Air Family membership

3. For the apparel fan

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Support Ruffner Mountain—buy a t-shirt. (Ruffner Mountain / Facebook)

Nothing beats a comfy tee—especially when it supports something great. For the friend who loves nature and needs a wardrobe update, a Ruffner tee is the perfect present. 

Shop Ruffner Mountain’s online store

4. For kids in need of a tech break

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Good times at Camp McDowell. (Camp McDowell / Facebook)

For the kid who has everything, ditch the tech gifts and opt for gifting an experience instead. One idea is to sign your kiddo up for summer camp at Camp McDowell—the state’s largest environment camp. 

The camp also has an awesome online store with lots of great holiday gift options like Christmas ornaments and fun shirts.

You can also donate to the camp’s scholarship fund to help send a local kid to camp.

5. For the gardening enthusiast

FBBG volunteer Bob Koons clears brush in the Kaul Wildflower Garden. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

No one can resist the peace and beauty the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG) provides. For the gardening enthusiast, there’s no better present than a membership to this beloved spot. 

Here’s why:

  • Memberships help the BBG continue its mission to support plant biodiversity and an understanding of its importance to the natural environment through conservation, education, engagement and enjoyment. 
  • Members get awesome perks, like:
    • Free or discounted admission to 340+ botanical gardens nationwide
    • 10% off at the BBG’s member partner nurseries, garden centers + flower shops.
    • Early access to the BBG’s annual plant sale
    • And more! 

Purchase a Birmingham Botanical Gardens membership

6. For the animal lover

Birmingham, Birmingham Zoo, kids, animals, spring break
Lorakeets and more at The Birmingham Zoo. (Patience Itson / Bham Now)

Know someone who loves animals? I have one thought for you—The Birmingham Zoo. Here’s why:

  • You can adopt an animal in your giftees name. What could be more exciting than becoming a “parent” to an incredible animal!
  • The Zoo’s gift shop is a must-visit. From cute and cuddly stuffed animals to locally-made art and jewelry, there’s something for everyone on your shopping list. The best part—every gift shop purchase benefits the Zoo.

7. For the sweet as honey pal

Save the bees! How? By gifting the sweetest gift ever—honey. But make it local. One place to consider is Foxhound Bee Company. Specializing in beekeepings, this company keeps its hives in multiple locations around Birmingham. The result—honeybees can keep on pollinating and lots of sticky-sweet honey goodness to enjoy.

Shop online or visit their retail store at 424 9th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203.

Here are more spots to get local honey around the state.

8. Gift an event

Now that’s a bird! (Alabama Wildlife Center / Facebook)

Instead of gifting an experience, how about gifting a good time at a local event? Grab your nature-loving family and friends for these special events benefiting the Alabama Wildlife Center (AWC)

Photos with Santa

What: Enjoy snacks + photos with Santa and a glove-trained raptor (a birds that swoop down on their prey). Donations from the event directly supporting AWC’s rehabilitation clinic and education department.
When: Saturday, December 10 | 9-11AM
Where: Alabama Wildlife Center, 100 Terrace Dr, Pelham, AL 35124
Cost: Free | Donations encouraged

Community Craft Sale 

What: This must-attend featured locally-made craft items, artwork, baked goods, candies + more! Proceeds from the event directly supporting AWC’s rehabilitation clinic and education department.
Saturday, December 17 | 9AM-2PM
Alabama Wildlife Center, 100 Terrace Dr, Pelham, AL 35124
Cost: Free | Donations encouraged

9. For the one needing new hiking boots

Mountain High Outfitters
SOREL boots are available for kids, women and men. (Mountain High Outfitters / Facebook)

Now that you’ve knocked your friends and fams hiking boots off with the awesome gifts above, they’ll need some new ones. Mountain High Outfitters has tons to choose from in top brands like SOREL, Hoka and Vasque. 

Here are some to consider:

Visit Mountain High Outfitters at these locations: 

Got friends, family or coworkers who are nature nerds in Huntsville? We’ve have great gift ideas for them

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Patience Itson
Patience Itson
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