SEC News- page 2
On the Hilltop, Professor Kelly Russell's Science Education students are producing mp3 podcasts about the Hugh Kaul EcoScape's features, with the idea of facilitating self guided audio tours. The podcasts will be available on Trek Birmingham, an online resource being developed by Jeanne Jackson (Leadership Studies), and Professors Ed Brands (Urban Environmental Studies), and Scot Duncan (Biology). Trek Birmingham will provide both scientific and practical information on local greenways and nature centers, including Southern Environmental Center.
Mary K Tomas (pictured at left) is our newest Master Gardener volunteer at the Hugh Kaul EcoScape. Before moving to Alabama, she lived and worked in 10 other states, obtained a degree in literature from Oregon State University, and managed a personal chef business.
Besides her pruning and weeding skills, Mary K is also collecting flower seeds for future distribution to SEC supporters interested in putting an EcoScape in their own backyard!
Off campus, we've handed over maintenance of three EcoScapes (Arlington-West End, Healing Garden, and the Sound Garden) to Princeton Baptist Health System. In Powderly, Faith Apostolic Church (Powderly) agreed to take over maintenance of Seven Springs EcoScape, but we promptly added another EcoScape in North Birmingham (www.bsc.edu/sec/ecoscape/nbham), and we have completed designs for additional EcoScapes in Tarrant and Homewood.
Last but not least, support from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Foundation is helping us to add a new segment to our EcoFarm. The new Village Creek Trail will open to the public in March 2011.
Thanks in part to our site manager Taylor Steele's unwavering commitment, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve (TNCP) has become a poster child for Alabama's Forever Wild program: www.alforeverwild.com.
The 462 mixed pine and hardwood forest through which Turkey Creek flows, was acquired by Forever Wild and the Freshwater Land Trust in 2004, and the Southern Environmental Center has provided day-to-day management of TCNP since 2009. For directions or information on hands-on educational programming provided by SEC at Turkey Creek, call 205-680-4116.
In a move that would have made George Steinbrenner proud, we recently partnered with Alabama Wildlife Center to add three Great Horned Owls to TCNP's biologically diverse 'lineup' of Vermillion, and Rush Darter fish populations. Two of the juvenile owls had been found injured in Alabama, while the third had likely been separated from his parents in Tennessee. After a successful rehabilitation process, Alabama Wildlife Center staff selected Turkey Creek Preserve as the ideal release site, due to its remarkable natural habitat.
Since 2009, Southern Environmental Center has partnered with the Sierra Club to train hundreds of middle school students in water chemistry, bio-assessment, and even a little fly fishing at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. A large percentage of the participants include inner city students with little or no prior exposure to TCNP's unique biodiversity. The Alabama Water Sentinels Program has already garnered national attention for its novel approach to environmental education, and additional funding support from the Sierra Club will now enable the program to continue through 2011.
We can't provide any of these services without your help. While BSC provides us with a base for our programs, we must rely on external support in order to grow. Please support our annual EcoFest fundraiser on October 6th at WorkPlay, volunteer at any or our EcoScapes, or simply help us get the word out. We owe it to our community. You can donate online today via our secure donation form.