Alabama Environmental Council “crowdfunding” for the expanded recycling center & 50th year

Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center
Just a few of the materials the AEC Recycling Center collects – newspaper, magazines, mixed paper, cans, plastic bottles and glass

The Alabama Environmental Council‘s Board of Directors have launched a “crowdfunding” campaign to fund their newly expanded recycling center in Avondale and to celebrate the organization’s 50th year in 2017.

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Alabama weekly nature roundup – November 19 to November 25, 2016

Bankhead National Forest
Bankhead National Forest

Quote of the week:

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” -~Baba Dioum

Our favorite stories this week: Patagonia’s Give 100% to the Planet commitment, the story about the Little River Canyon National Preserve and where you can recycle cooking oil in Jefferson County.

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Archaeologists uncover proof of original Plymouth settlement, just in time for Thanksgiving Day

According to the Boston Globe, the uncovered items are believed to be a part of the first pilgrim settlement that arrived in 1620.

Photo by David Landon/UMASS
Photo by David Landon/UMASS

A team from the University of Massachusetts Boston excavated a cemetery called Burial Hill, home to the graves of several pilgrims.

They found discolored soil and calf bones under a layer of discarded items from the 17th century, and they believe the calf bones are proof of the pilgrim settlement, since Native Americans did not raise cattle in that area.

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Thanksgiving for the earth – a prayer, poems and passages

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Please take a moment out of the madness that is the Thanksgiving holiday/Iron Bowl weekend and read the following inspirational prayer, poems and passages about our natural wonders here in Alabama and the South.

Have a nature-filled, meaningful, memorable, and joyful Thanksgiving.

“… Praise Thee, wondrous God for the blessed watershed that is Alabama, pliant to man’s needs, gracious to his questing spirit. May her sons and daughters not forget Thy bounty, nor fail to deserve Thy benediction through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”  ~From the state of Alabama Prayer at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

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Water main break on Glen View Rd leaves Forest Park residents dry

If you live in Forest Park, the historic residential section surrounding much of Highland Golf Course, you might wish you had cooked your Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Oh, and taken an extra long shower.

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Photo credit: Regina Ammon

A water main line broke today on Glen View Rd and flooded the street for hours.  The Birmingham Water Works was alerted early on, but reportedly said there were several breaks around Birmingham which delayed their appearance until late this afternoon.

 

As of 9pm, the faucets are all dry.  We’re starting to feel like the Cahaba River.

 

 

 

Patagonia’s own “doorbuster” sale on Black Friday. Give 100% for the Planet

Photo by Garrett Grove
Photo by Garrett Grove

Rebel against Black Friday madness – Patagonia 100% for the Planet

 

Black Friday.  The kickoff of the holiday retail season. It can be madness.

At storefronts across America, people literally wait outside in long lines for hours to rush into retail stores immediately when the establishment opens at daybreak to purchase the latest electronic game or the hottest trendy toy.  These type of events are often called “Doorbuster” sales.

In lieu of all the Black Friday madness, yesterday, Patagonia, one of the most successful and popular outdoor sustainable clothing companies in the U.S. announced its own special kind of Black Friday “Doorbuster” sale.

Patagonia is giving 100% of their sales on Black Friday to grassroots organizations working in local communities for the environment.

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What locals are saying about Jim McClintock behind his back.

 Haisley Beard Smith I heard him speak about 6 years ago and he is phenomenal. A local treasure, for sure.

giphy-11
Source: Giphy

Liz Rozzelle He spoke at the Birmingham Audubon banquet a few years ago. Last week we had dinner at Food Bar and we said hello to him. Local celebrity!

Will Marble This should be good. 

Dr. Jim McClintock will speak to Bham Now about the drought in Alabama, the ice in Antarctic and global climate change.  Seats are limited! Get tickets for the BOLD event here.

Try a fun day trip to one of Alabama’s orchards

“Johnny Apple Seed” is my favorite blessing, even though it’s a simple child’s song. Above is composer and songwriter Michele Brourman giving it a mature upgrade, but I still love to hear kids sing it before sharing a meal.

alabama-apples

The short and sweet tune reminds me of attending Camp Sumatanga in Gallant, Alabama, where we would sing “Johnny Appleseed” before every meal.

There is a spiritual connection between food and nature, and I can thank the Methodist church for opening my eyes (and stomach) to the sweet message found its lyrics. I feel this same connection when visiting our state’s farmers and witnessing the fruits of their labor. One of my favorite ways to rekindle this connection is with a trip to purchase apples from an Alabama apple farm!

The state has handful of apple orchards, some where you can even pick your own apples. While the picking season ends at the end of October, the orchards below continue to sell the fruits of their labor until they run out.

Photo courtesy of Crow Mountain Orchard
Photo courtesy of Crow Mountain Orchard

Crow Mountain Orchard
6236 County Road 39 Fackler, AL 35746
256-437-9254
Crow Mountain Orchard, while not open for tours, boasts over 20 varieties of apples that they sell to the public. From Ginger Golds to Pippins, along with more common ones like Gala and Golden Delicious, Crow Mountain apples can also be purchased at seven different farmer’s markets.

Photo courtesy of Scott's Orchard
Photo courtesy of Scott’s Orchard

Scott’s Orchard
2163 Scott Road, Hazel Green, AL 35750
(256) 828-4563
Scott’s Orchard is the largest apple orchard in Tennessee, but they are technically located in Alabama. Confused? Don’t be! The 150-acre farm stretches across the state line. They serve apples, peaches, cider, apple and peach cider slushies, vegetables, honey and molasses.

Steele’s Orchard
1695 Co Rd 1141, Cullman, AL 35057
Phone: (256) 734-5249

Steele’s Orchard is located in Cullman, and they give tours of the orchards (unlike most) in addition to selling apples and apple goods on site. Steele’s Orchard has a gift shop and bakery that’s open through December, selling everything from southern fried pies to apple-wood chips for barbecuing.

Now, what to do with all those apples after your day trip? My personal favorite is this healthy breakfast muffin, made with candied ginger and whole-wheat flour. You can also find this recipe on the Bham Now Facebook page.

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Apple Ginger Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. chopped candied ginger (available at asian markets)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. small-diced apples
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 eggTopping:
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. candied ginger, chopped finely

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking soda and salt; blend well.In medium bowl, combine apples, oil, and egg; blend well and Add to Your dry ingredients; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. don’t over mix! Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Alabama weekly nature roundup – November 12 to November 18, 2016

Photo by: Charles Walton - one of our favorite "Supermoon " pics
Photo by: Charles Walton – one of our favorite “Supermoon ” pics

Quote of the week – “I love to think of Nature as wireless telegraph stations through which God speaks to us every day, every hour, and every moment of our lives.” ~ George Washington Carver

The week of the Supermoon.  Drought continues.  Move I-20/59 takes a hit. And the big question – will Alabama ever develop a sustainable water plan?

Looking for something to do this weekend? Become a Preserve Ranger!

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Walking paths, light shows coming to Vulcan Park

kiwanis-club-vulcan-graphicA $4 million, three-part project is underway for Vulcan Park, thanks to the Kiwanis Club. To celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary in 2017, a grand-scale makeover is in the works.

The “big changes” include:

  • A makeover for the North side of the park, improving the paths and the walking trails, as well as other parts in need of an upgrade.
  • The creation of Kiwanis Centennial Park, a meeting an event space. This part of the improvement project will also include walking steps from the north side of the park directly up to Vulcan itself.
  • A two-mile jogging and biking trail is planned for the second phase of the project. It will extend Vulcan Trail to Green Springs Highway, as a part of the planned 750 miles of Birmingham’s Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System.
  • The last phase of the project includes the installation of a multicolored light show for Vulcan, like in the rendering below.

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