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Freshwater Land Trust Turns 25

Freshwater Land Trust Turns 25 | Alabama Sawyer

February 08, 2021

Since 1996, Freshwater Land Trust has been conserving and caring for land and water throughout central Alabama.

New Freshwater Fans giving program

If you value beautiful forests, clean water, and walkable trails, you are already a fan of what they do. Why not make it official? Learn more about the benefits and how to join here.

If you want to learn a little more about the cool things Freshwater Land Trust does, read on (and follow them on Instagram.)

Red Rock Trail System

In 2010, Freshwater Land Trust, under the Jefferson County Department of Health and the Health Action Partnership, received funding through a Centers for Disease Control “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” grant to develop a greenway master plan for Jefferson County, Alabama. The purpose of this plan was to develop a feasible and “ground-truthed” master plan for greenways and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructures that would promote active and healthy living, use of alternate modes of transportation, and protect regional waterways.

Red Rock Trail System presents an inclusive “roadmap” for a regional greenway and street-based trail system to connect communities across Jefferson County. The master plan proposes over 200 miles of shared-use greenways and trails along six main corridors, as well as over 600 miles of street-based bicycle and pedestrian pathways that will connect the corridors with surrounding areas. Upon implementation of the plan, citizens will be able to walk and ride bicycles for routine transportation and recreation, which will improve the quality of life of the people of Jefferson County and create a region attractive to new residents and businesses, which will sustain future economic growth in our communities.

Red Rock Trail System’s master plan is primarily designed as an implementation tool for municipalities and cooperating organizations, supplying all the information needed to apply for grants to fund the site design and construction of trail segments. Existing greenways and bicycle-pedestrian master plans at the municipal level were carefully incorporated into the master plan, so that we can ensure connections are made between communities throughout Jefferson County as part of the overall network.

What is a Litter Gitter?

For over a decade, a group of organizations has worked together on a plan to install in-stream litter collection devices in Greater Birmingham’s urban streams.

In 2018, Osprey Initiative, the creator of the “litter gitter” device, emerged as a new company, and in December 2019, the first Birmingham litter gitter was installed in Valley Creek, thanks to River Network, Coca-Cola Foundation, the City of Birmingham, and other partners.

In April 2020, the EPA awarded Freshwater Land Trust a $500,000 grant to fund six litter gitters for three years. In summer 2020, six new litter gitters were installed, including one device funded by the City of Homewood. In October 2020, River Network and Coca-Cola Foundation funded another litter gitter in East Lake Park, and in December 2020, we installed two litter gitters funded by the Jefferson County Department of Health in Trussville and Brighton for a total of ten devices in the Cahaba River and Black Warrior River watersheds.

But wait, there's more. If you are a reader, it's all on their website. If you are sick of looking at a screen, take a hike on one of their trails and see for yourself!