Outdoor Connections

Meet the tiny fish that only call Jefferson County home

Though the creek water at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is crystal clear, and thousands visit the preserve each year, it’s highly unlikely most will see three unique fish species that swim alongside them. They are the endangered watercress, rush and vermilion darters 

Why trees are an environmental and health Swiss army knife

Cool Green Trees plants trees in under-resourced communities in the Birmingham area to help mitigate climate change and advance environmental justice initiatives.

In Alabama’s Paint Rock Valley, researchers count every tree thicker than a pencil

In an effort to better understand the biodiversity of north Alabama, scientists are conducting a “tree census,” with the goal of studying roughly 100,000 trees for 50 years.

Nature-based education on the rise in Alabama

At least three forest schools have opened across Alabama in recent years. It's part of a nationwide movement to teach kids in nature.

Alabama’s hemlocks face threat from a deadly insect

In the Bankhead National Forest, Eastern Hemlock trees foster unique habitat for a wide range of species. But a deadly insect is moving closer and closer.

Cahaba lily season draws crowds, inspires conservation efforts

Alabama is thought to be home to one of the world's largest populations of the unique flower, which is only in bloom for a few more weeks.

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Increasing popularity of Alabama’s Pinhoti Trail sparks economic opportunity

A growing number of hikers are tackling Alabama's longest continuous footpath and trail communities are welcoming the growth.

Alabama medicinal plants inspire new UAB art exhibit

The new art exhibit showcases handmade books, sculptures and drawings inspired by medicinal plants found in Alabama.

Red Mountain Cut features time capsule of Alabama’s robust geologic history

A national natural landmark, the road cut along Birmingham's Red Mountain Expressway documents more than a hundred million years of geologic history and was once an educational centerpiece.

This swampy paradise is Alabama’s winter haven for sandhill cranes

As many as 25,000 sandhill cranes migrate to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge every winter, along with a handful of highly endangered whooping cranes. 

The story of Alabama’s favorite homegrown Christmas tree

The Leyland cypress is a holiday staple for Alabama farmers. But the non-native tree has a surprising history.

Alabama’s Hunting 101 workshops target newcomers — and conservation dollars

State leaders hope to reverse a decades-long decline in hunting participation rates and secure more funding for wildlife restoration.

Outdoorsy Black Women helps change the face of outdoor activities

Outdoorsy Black Women is a national organization with more than 3,000 members across the country. The Birmingham chapter began in early 2022 and it already has 160 members. 

Scottsboro is home to the largest gray bat summer cave. They’re leaving for the winter

At Sauta Cave anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000 gray bats emerge to feast on insects. It’s thought to be the largest emergence of bats east of the Mississippi River, a spectacle that draws curious onlookers from across Alabama.

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54% of support comes from members