What will Alabama look like in 2119? With proper planning it can be a stunning oasis for people, business and wildlife.

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View from Cherokee Rock Village. Photo credit: ADCNR/Robin E. Taylor

In 1819, Alabama was covered with rich forests, prairie, wooded grasslands and canebrake (bamboo). Most of that landscape has been lost.

During the ensuing 200 years, we turned our rivers into lakes, forests into farms and lost and then brought back deer, turkey and the Bald Eagle.

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Join Cheers to the Coosa at the Clubhouse on Highland on September 19. Tickets are limited.

The view over Moccasin Gap in Wetumpka, Alabama on the Coosa River. Photo by A.Odrezin from the Coosa Riverkeeper Facebook page

Summer is almost over.

There is no better way to celebrate its end than to raise a glass to the river we all know and love – the Coosa River.

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4 u-pick vineyards to find muscadine grapes and wine around Birmingham

My grandfather’s muscadine vines. You can see a mix of both the gold and purple—scuppernongs and muscadines.

The end of summer was always a bittersweet time for me. On one hand, growing up, it always signaled the end of a three month long vacation. But on the other hand, it signaled the start of muscadine season—something I looked forward to all year long. 

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A guide to 6 September runs in Birmingham, including the Darter Dash

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. Photo via Turkey Creek Nature Preserve on Facebook

September is a hot month–pun definitely intended–for races in Birmingham. Whether you’re looking for a 5k, 10k, fun run or walk, there are several options for you. Who wants to get outside and support some great causes? Here’s a list of six runs coming up this month. 

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Red Mountain Park was once a sea of stumps? Explore 200 years of landscape changes in Alabama

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Aerial photo of the what is today Red Mountain Park in the 1900s. Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Park

When I was in the 4th grade, I took my first Alabama history class. Without fail, each day, the teacher outlined Alabama on the chalkboard–the rectangular box with the “high heels” that is Baldwin and Mobile counties. At the end of each class, she would wipe away that outline of the state.

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Bonsai, camellias, ferns, oh my! Don’t miss the Fall Plant Sale at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Sept. 14-15

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It’s time to make your seasonal selections! Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Beat the summer heat by planning your fall garden! If the start of some cooler weather has you ready to dig in the dirt, the Fall Plant Sale at Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a must-visit! Don’t miss out on the fun September 14-15.

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UAB/Birmingham Women’s Rugby Club begins practice September 3 & 5. Learn how to get involved.

UAB/Birmingham Women’s Rugby Club will be holding their first practice on September 3, at the UAB Recreation Fields. Photo courtesy of UAB/Birmingham Women’s Rugby Club

The UAB/Birmingham Women’s Rugby Club is inviting women throughout the Magic City to become a part of their team.

For women interested in rugby, the world’s 9th most popular sport (tied with American football), the Birmingham club’s first practices are this week Tuesday, September 3  and Thursday, September 5, beginning at 5:00pm, at the UAB Recreation Fields – between 5th Avenue South and 12th Street.

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Here’s who you’ll see at Antiques at the Gardens’ star-studded lineup of design+style experts Oct. 3-6

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Lectures and tastemakers who are true industry standouts will all be offering up a wealth of knowledge throughout this event. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Learn from a prestigious lineup of acclaimed speakers and tastemakers and shop with dealers and designers from across the United States. If this sounds like your kind of weekend, we’ve got just the event for you!

Antiques at the Gardens is coming October 3-6 to Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

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Uniquely Birmingham! New students at Birmingham-Southern tour the city – and you can, too.

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Students take on new challenges at Southern Museum of Flight! Photo via Birmingham-Southern College

Birmingham-Southern College has a unique way of welcoming incoming students to the Magic City. They developed the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure of our beloved Birmingham, AL, and we’re sharing it with you! It’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday for old and new Birminghamians alike.

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Elite climber, 17-year-old Ben Burkalter of Homewood, shares his climbing story and insider tips

Ben Burkhalter climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo by Sam Weir

Saturday, August 24 is Global Climbing Day. To commemorate the occasion, we spoke with one of the sport’s elite athletes, Ben Burkhalter, who happens to live right here in Birmingham.

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What did Alabama’s landscapes look like in 1819? Hint: think Kansas with prairies and bamboo.

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Painting by contemporary artist Philip Juras of  William Bartram’s 1775 description of Alabama’s Black Belt Prairie near Montgomery. www.philipjuras.com

I’ve got a confession to make.

As a native Alabamian, who has worked in conservation for more than three decades, I never knew there were millions of acres of grasslands and prairies in Alabama two centuries ago.

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Down the drain and out of sight! Where does your wastewater go in Jefferson Co?

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Local school groups regularly tour the Jefferson County water reclamation facilities to learn all about how their water is treated and where it comes from! Photo via Jefferson County

How many times a day do you run a faucet, take a shower or flush a toilet? As the wastewater spins down the drain and heads into oblivion—where does it actually go? Here’s an inside look at what goes on beyond the flush right here in Jefferson County.

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