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Southern Environmental Center

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve

Fourth Grade through High School Programs

Suggested Program Offerings:

Land Stewards 101

4th Grade-Middle School
(Earth Science, Life Science, Environmental Science, Alabama History)

Students become field scientists for a day as they investigate.  After learning some basic plant identification skills, students draw and answer questions about a plant specific to their ecosystem. Students utilize their observation skills as they search for signs of animals, discover signs of our human footprint, and deduce information from their sightings about how we have impacted our native ecosystems. Students put their new found knowledge and respect into action by taking on a restoration activity such as seed collecting, invasive plant removal, or planting of native plants.

Location: Turkey Creek Ecoscape and Turkey Creek Falls Area
Duration of Program: 1.5 hours
Cost: $5.00

Earth Cache at the Creek: High-tech Exploration of Turkey Creek Nature Preserve

5th Grade-Middle School
(Geography, History, Biology, Environmental Science)

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is full of historical and natural wonders. Students will use GPS technology and maps to locate one of the Earth Cache boxes located in the preserve, which contain interesting information about the regarding Turkey Creek’s unique geology, history, animals, and plants.

Suggested Group Size: 10-15 (For larger groups we suggest splitting the group between two course i.e. Earth Cache and Aquatic Ecology)

Location: Bullfrog Bend, Turkey Creek Falls, Eagle Scout Trail
Duration of Program: 1.5 hours
Cost: $5.00 per student

Turkey Creek Water Quality Monitoring: From Google Earth to Ground Zero

Middle School-High School
(Geography, Life Science, Chemistry, Environmental Science)

Take a tour of the Turkey Creek Watershed with a Google Earth “fly-through”.  Students will gain insight into how satellite imagery and software give us a high-tech approach to understanding watersheds, how they are affected by non-point source pollution, land-uses found in a watershed , and sustainable growth practices communities can employ. From Google Earth, students will head into Turkey Creek to perform basic chemical testing in order to understand why temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, hardness, and turbidity can affect the biotic components of a watershed.

Location: Bullfrog Bend
Duration of Program: 3 hours
Cost: $5.00 per student

The Life of a Creek: Stream Ecology Field Study

Middle School-High School
(Environmental Science, Biology, Life Science)

Turkey Creek is truly one of Alabama’s natural wonders. Home to three endangered fish, the creek also faces many hazards from pollution, sedimentation, and encroachment. Students will learn how macro-invertebrates found in the creek are long-term indicators regarding the “health” of Turkey Creek. Students will be involved in collecting macro-invertebrates and identifying each by order and sensitivity group. By analyzing the collected population, students will determine the creek’s richness and diversity, indicating the health of a creek.

* Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is an approved site venue for Alabama Water Watch; Exploring Alabama's Living Streams

Location: Vermilion Run
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $5.00 per student

Connecting Ecological Footprint to History: A Living History Program

Middle-High School
(American History, Environmental Science)

This course looks at environmental, economic, political, and cultural factors that shaped how people lived here during different time periods, and the economic, geographical, political, and cultural factors shaping their lives through:

  • comparing the past and present and evaluating consequences of past events
  • understanding how change happens
  • understanding human modifications to the environment and the resulting environmental policy issues
  • showing the connections between historical events and larger environmental, social, economic, and political trends
  • understanding how changes in technology, political decisions, and other historical events shaped structural and natural systems and contributed to our current way of living

Location: Thompson Bridge Clearing
Duration of Program: 1.5 hour
Cost: $5.00 per student

Additional Turkey Creek Activities (Call for more details or to combine with another course)

Fly Fishing
Hook and Bobber Fishing
Alabama Geology

Contact Us at: 205.680.4116

Directions to Turkey Creek Preserve

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve
3906 Turkey Creek Road
Pinson, AL 35126

From Downtown Birmingham:

  • Take I-20 E/I-59 N.
  • Take Tallapoosa Street exit (#128 ).
  • Keep right at the fork to merge onto Hwy. 79/Tallapoosa Street.
  • Continue on Hwy. 79 for approximately 11.9 miles.
  • Turn left onto Narrows Road (at intersection of Hwy. 75).
  • Turn right onto Turkey Creek Road.

From Huntsville:

  • Take U.S. Hwy. 231 South.
  • Follow Hwy. 231 for approximately 60 miles.
  • Merge onto Hwy. 79 South.
  • Continue on Hwy. 79 for approximately 23.5 miles.
  • Turn right onto Narrows Road (at intersection of Hwy. 75).
  • Turn right onto Turkey Creek Road.