3 things you can do now to help keep Alabama the Beautiful

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Roald Hazelhoff, director of the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College. Photo courtesy of Southern Environmental Center

In our first two installments “Protecting Alabama the Beautiful by cleaning up our mess” and “Turning dumps into natural wonders” we examined Alabama’s legacy of pollution problems and remarkable comeback stories, including Turkey Creek Nature Preserve and Red Mountain Park. In this, our third and final installment, we provide 3 ways you can help make, and keep, Alabama the Beautiful.

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The 13th annual Moss Rock Festival was a blast! Here’s what you missed.

Festival guests lounge on hammocks in the Autumn sunshine. Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now

Moss Rock Festival, Birmingham’s premier eco-creative festival, drew large crowds for its 13th annual festival weekend. The festival lasted all weekend (November 3-4) and featured local musicians, bouldering, wonderful art and an epic beer garden.

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Aviate’s Jet Setter Collection turns your summer go-to into an essential fall-winter accessory, featuring a fashion photo shoot at Railroad Park

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Birmingham, Alabama, Aviate, Jet Setter Collection, Railroad Park
Views of downtown Birmingham make Railroad Park THE spot for fall photos. Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now

What’s lightweight, goes with anything and looks killer with a high ponytail? Your favorite baseball cap, of course. But as your wardrobe gets cozier for fall and winter, the summer go-to can look a little out of place. Fortunately, Aviate, the Birmingham-based, nationally loved lifestyle apparel brand, has the answer: the Jet Setter Collection. Even better, profits from the collection benefit the No-Shave November organization all month long.

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Toyota Green Initiative volunteers made ‘magic’ happen at the West End Community Garden

Birmingham residents, Felita Powell (mom) and Skylar Nicks (daughter) volunteering at the West End Community Garden. Photo courtesy of Toyota Green Initiative

Last week, before the Magic City Classic, the Toyota Green Initiative (TGI) joined forces with Birmingham West End neighborhood volunteers and students from Alabama State University, Alabama A&M and nearby colleges to make some “magic” of their own, volunteering at the West End Community Garden.

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From dumps to natural wonders. See how two communities brought back nature in Birmingham and Jefferson County

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Tire cleanup at Red Mountain Park. The park removed more than 4000 tons of garbage from illegal dumps in 2017. Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Park

Paradise lost. That is how a long time resident once described Pinson, Alabama’s Turkey Creek Falls, in the 1990s, because of the garbage and trash that littered the streamsides, forests and majestic falls. A beloved natural wonder in Jefferson County, this special place, that use to be a playground for residents throughout the region, was surrounded by dumps, and had become a magnet for drugs, crime and a proposed jail.

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Stink bugs in Birmingham: by any other name, they’d stink the same

Birmingham, Alabama, stink bugs, Halyomorpha halys
Stink bug. Photo via Pixabay

“Shield bugs” is one name, which describes the appearance, like an ornate piece of medieval armor. We call them “stink bugs” stateside, but perhaps the French named it best. “Punaise diabolique.” Devil bug! Whatever you call it, if you’ve got them in your Birmingham home, please don’t squash them. Your nose can thank us later.

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Make the most on the trail this Fall. Discover the Alabama Plant and Butterfly Atlases (photos)

Alabama Streak Sorus Fern – Stegnogramma burksiorum. Named after the founders of the Alabama Conservancy, Bob and Mary Burks. Photo from the Alabama Plant Atlas

Have you ever hiked on a trail and saw a flowering plant that you wanted to identify? Or  experienced a butterfly fluttering past you, to its next destination in a forest? If you are curious about plants and butterflies, the state of Alabama has two of the most comprehensive guides/inventories on the internet – the Alabama Plant Atlas and the Alabama Butterfly Atlas.

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Don’t miss the Birmingham Fall City-wide Cleanup and Jefferson County household hazardous waste day

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Birmingham Clean-up volunteers. Photo from Hands ON Birmingham

Earlier this week, Bham Now  featured a story about illegal garbage dumps and rampant problems with litter within our communities in Alabama. On Saturday, October 20, between 8am to 1:00pm, you have a chance in Birmingham to combat these problems by participating in the Fall City-wide Cleanup.

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Stargazing in Birmingham isn’t just for the dreamers with a spotlight on the Christenberry Planetarium

The Christenberry Planetarium at Samford University located across from Reid Chapel offers a consistent and unique opportunity to learn about the skies on Thursday nights. Photo provided by David Weigel

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, some may start to wonder about all the space above us. Unknown to many, Birmingham offers the community multiple ways to observe the galaxies.

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16 things I learned at Alabama’s 2018 solar home tour in Blount County

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Solar home in Blount County. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

Alabama is not exactly known for solar homes. But drive north from Birmingham through the beautiful countryside of Blount County, and you will find five, all within 10 minutes of each other. Earlier this October, I went up for this small community’s annual solar home tour. Here’s what I learned. 

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