Eastern Health Center
On April 23rd, 2010, Southern Environmental Center (SEC) in partnership with Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH), officially dedicated the first phase of EcoFarm. Located within walking distance of JCDH's Eastern Health Center, the two acre public demonstration farm showcases locally grown, healthy food choices. What was formerly a field covered with invasive plants like privet, mimosa, and Japanese honeysuckle, has been transformed into an edible landscape classroom for nearby schools and surrounding communities. EcoFarm's orchard includes apple, peach, and persimmon trees, blackberry and raspberry bushes, and even a muscadine archway. A new work shed, along with compost bins, propagation beds for seedlings, and raised herb beds will provide sustainably grown ingredients for future public presentations at the Eastern Health Center.
EcoFarm forms an extension of the Samuelson EcoScape. Wrapped around the Eastern Health Center's parking lot, Samuelson EcoScape showcases best management practices relating to storm water runoff as well as native medicinal plants traditionally used by homesteaders. In 2009, an agreement was reached between the Southern Environmental Center, JCDH, and the State Division of Youth Services (DYS), to develop several acres of state owned land immediately adjacent to Samuelson EcoScape, into an EcoFarm demonstration project. The land forms part of a 178 acre parcel on which DYS maintains a correctional facility. Only a small portion of this land is currently occupied by buildings, while the remainder is a mix of woodlands and fields.
During phases 2 & 3, electrical service, water cisterns, a greenhouse, small constructed wetland, a harvest gathering place, and a woodland trail system will be added. A service access road and gate will also be installed at this time.When completed, the creek walk, along with EcoFarm and the Samuelson EcoScape, will provide a starting point for the proposed Village Creek Greenway. SEC is working with the City of Birmingham and the Alabama Department of Transportation on a 1.4 mile bike/ped connector between the Eastern Health Center and East Lake Park.
To view a map of EcoFarm, please click here.
For directions, click here.