Wild Alabama welcomes Meg Ford to the Staff! Birmingham, AL native, Meg Ford, has been working as an environmental educator, musician, and community coordinator for over a decade. Her passion for Alabama's native wildlife and habitats has led her to work with Jones Valley Teaching Farm, Ruffner Mountain, McDowell Environmental Center, Alabama Audubon, and now at Wild Alabama. When she’s not playing violin or teaching outside (or discovering the places that the two meet), she enjoys baking, gardening, hiking, and catching a local show.
Meg will serve as the Wild Alabama Education Coordinator for the Talladega National Forest area. She will team up with Brittany Seaborg to bring guided hikes, school field trips, and more educational opportunities to the children and adults who want to learn about the Wild Places in that area! Contact: Meg@wildal.org New Wild Alabama things to note!
Wild AlabamaTRUCKER HATS are in. To order go to our Gear Store. They are super cool! We need volunteers who want to do a short training and become Forest Ambassadors! These trailhead ambassadors are crucial to educating visitors to our wild places such as Sipsey Wilderness, Cheaha Wilderness, and in summer, popular waterfall sites. To learn more, contact Lindsay@wildal.org
Speaking of popular waterfalls... Kinlock Falls in the Sipsey is one of those places that could be 'loved to death' during the summer. To learn the 8 things you need to know before you go... check outKinlock Falls here.
We post a monthly calendar on ourWild Alabama website with most of our upcoming hikes, events and volunteer days. Some are in the Bankhead National Forest, others are in the Talladega National Forest. Your options are amazing!
Wild Alabama volunteers are constantly training and learning skills that allow them to do quality maintenance of Wilderness trails. One very important skill-set to learn is that of the crosscut saw. Only non-motorized, traditional tools can be used to do maintenance in a wilderness area. When trees fall across the hiking trails and prevent visitors from following the path, our sawyers come in to clear the trail! It is truly a joy to watch new volunteers fall in love with the traditional art of the crosscut saw. We build friendships, bond and sweat buckets as a team! At the end of the day, we know that we did our best to make a difference in the condition of the trails!
Wild Alabama's Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program is getting a bit of an up-grade this year! In order for positive changes to be made in the Wilderness, it is important to get a clear picture of what is happening on the trails. This Spring, we have adopted a paperless system called Survey 123 that allows volunteer rangers to report the data that they collect when they hike on trails in the Wilderness. It is used to report violations of wilderness ethics, trail conditions, visitor contacts that are made, hog damage in the forest, and maintenance needs in the forest. We can even add photos to ranger reports. We can depict what a trail looks like, help describe work areas, or show a natural feature of interest that deserves attention. The technology is able to pinpoint exact locations of all these things! We plan to have an official VWR training weekend before this Fall.
To learn more or sign up to volunteer, email Lindsay@wildal.org
Some Fabulous Foundations grants!
Thank you to these foundations for seeing the great work Wild Alabama is doing and helping us to grow! These are grants from the last few months. They are not all inclusive. This operational funding is so very important to keep our staff paid and the programs running!
The Daniel Foundation of Alabama made a three year commitment to Wild Alabama! They are donating $15,000 per year over the next three years.
American Trails selected Wild Alabama as one of only 7 organizations from across the country to receive a grant. Of the $50,000 that the American Trails had to distribute, Wild Alabama received $10,000! They had over 290 proposals for requests for $3 million. We are thrilled to have been selected!
EBSCO has also made a very generous three year commitment to Wild Alabama. Thank you for believing in the mission that Wild Alabama holds dear... to inspire people to ENJOY, VALUE and PROTECT the wild places in Alabama.
We would also like to acknowledge the following donations, given in honor or in memory of some special people:
Jean Anne Fisackerly, donation in honor of Maggie's birthday
Elbert Hilliard, donation in honor of daughter Lee Michelle Hilliard, M.D.
Barbara "B.B." and Clive Pass, donation in memory of their daughter Susan Pass
Betty Gill, donation in memory of her daughter Amber
Mark Berte, donation in honor of my mentor Nina Reeves who saw something in me as a middle schooler at Camp Sumatanga which has an entryway sign that reads: Let no one say and say to your shame that this was a place of beauty before you came.
Bob Elam, donation in honor of Yates Dellinger who at a very early age shared so many outdoor experiences with me that took root in my being and are such a part of who I am.
Robin Shriver, Thank you Janice for the Forest bathing experience!
Margaret Holler, donation in memory of dad, Clarence Hohner
Donie Martin, donation in honor of Janice Barrett
Cynthia and Tim Volin, donation in honor of Janice Barrett, a wonderful caring person and beautiful bright light for Earth, environment and conservation for all she is and does for Sipsey Wilderness, Bankhead Forest and Wild Alabama.
David Housel, donation in honor & appreciation of Bill Deutsch.
Angie Newlin, donation in memory of Helen Fisackerly, who inspired so many people in Winona, MS and beyond.
And thank you to all the people who give through Facebook birthday gifts, online donations, and by giving of themselves through volunteering with Wild Alabama!