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.
Two of Birmingham’s most successful conservation organizations, the Nature Conservancy and Red Mountain Park, posted job openings this past week. Here are the links to their job postings:
Red Mountain Park – Financial Manager
Nature Conservancy in Alabama – Director of Freshwater Programs
In the coming month, the Whooping Crane, one of the rarest birds in North America will be returning to Alabama.
Yes, that’s right, for Whooping Cranes our state is – Sweet Home Alabama.
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.
According to the Boston Globe, the uncovered items are believed to be a part of the first pilgrim settlement that arrived in 1620.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With Christmas spirits on the rise, here is one more thing to add to your holiday to-do list. On November 25th, Railroad Park is bringing Bham an outdoor ice skating rink.
Haisley Beard Smith I heard him speak about 6 years ago and he is phenomenal. A local treasure, for sure.
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.
“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.
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.
Crow Mountain Orchard
6236 County Road 39 Fackler, AL 35746
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.
2163 Scott Road, Hazel Green, AL 35750
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 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.
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
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. candied ginger, chopped finely
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.
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!
A $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.
Exploring Wild Alabama authors Ken Wills and Larry Davenport were recently featured on Fred Hunter’s Absolutely Alabama television program.
Here is the link to the Absolutely Alabama video.
As promised, checkout the Supermoon photo slideshow provided to us by Bham Now readers.
Fun Supermoon facts:
The moon on November 14th looked 15 percent bigger and 16 percent brighter than a typical full moon.