Jun 242015
 

Are you doing everything you can to keep your land and your soil healthy? Would you like to learn how to build soil health, nourish your plants and yield bigger, healthier crops?

Then attend the FREE workshop on Soil Health on July 18.

For more information, click here!

Jun 122015
 

Do you struggle with privet, kudzu, mimosa, english ivy, bamboo, and other annoying invasive plants on your property? Would you like to learn from the pros how to fight these enemies?

If so, REGISTER NOW for the Invasive Plant Workshop being held August 7, 2015 at the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve in Pinson. This workshop is FREE to the public, landowners, farmers, and offers CEU’s for those who qualify. Lunch is provided. A hands-on demonstration and mulching demo will be held as well.  Bring your shorts and enjoy the creek after the class! 

Eventbrite - Invasive Plant Workshop

DOWNLOAD THE FLYER HERE

Online tools are now available to help identify and report invasive species. The Southeast Early Detection Network (SEEDN) website helps you identify and report invasive plants, insects and plant pathogens in the Southeastern United States. By reporting sightings of invasive plants and other invasive pests, we can better assess the extent of the infestations and hopefully eradicate new infestations before they become huge problems. Learn more here.

May 012015
 

Cawaco recently got some press on RootsRated!

RootsRated is a website designed to help outdoor enthusiasts find the best hiking, trail running, climbing, paddling, cycling and more- (including food)- in 30+ cities around the country- all according to local experts. So if you are looking for things to do locally, or while travelling, check out their website! And if you know of places in your area that are not listed, email them and they will add it. We recently suggested the addition of Palisades Park for  rappelling.

To read the article about Cawaco RC&D, click here. 

To learn more about the Little Shades Creek Stream Restoration Project, click here.

Apr 032015
 

Cawaco was awarded the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation & Development Council’s  Project of the Year Award for 2014, for the “Tannehill Wastewater Treatment” project.

Read more about this project in the Spring Newsletter. Or go here.

We were very honored to be the recipient of this award, when there are so many worthwhile projects throughout the state to choose from!  We were excited to accept this award in the presence of one of our good friends and supporters, Senator Greg Reed.

Mar 092015
 

Cawaco RC&D to host Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Outreach Meetings.

Cawaco is partnering with USDA/NRCS and local Soil & Water Conservation Districts to host Beginning Farmer and Ranchers workshops in Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby and Walker Counties during FY 2015.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps farmers and ranchers use conservation to help the environment while improving agricultural operations. But not everyone knows about the variety of programs and services offered through USDA agencies like NRCS.

Cawaco is attempting to ensure the workshops are reaching landowners and rural citizens of different backgrounds. “Our goal is to extend our outreach to minority farmers and new farmers, and reach those potential customers that perhaps we have not made contact with before,” said Kellie Johnston, Executive Director for Cawaco RC&D.

To enhance outreach, Cawaco RC&D is hosting outreach meetings with other USDA agencies where farmers and landowners can meet with NRCS district conservationists to talk about their resource needs. In addition we are working to reach small and limited resource farmers and landowners who may be unfamiliar with the many programs and services of NRCS.

To find out about dates and locations, click here.

Feb 172015
 

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—Oak Mountain Elementary School first grade students have been able to supplement their learning with iPads, thanks to a $5,000 grant from Cawaco Resource, Conservation and Development Council in partnership with State Senator Jabo Waggoner, R-Birmingham, and Rep. Arnold Mooney, R-Birmingham.

On Feb. 12, the OMES students and teachers had a chance to present how the iPads have been implemented in the classroom.

“We use our iPads in so many different ways,” OMES first grade teacher Anne Neighbors said. “We really appreciate your generosity.”

OMES first grade teachers applied for the grant with Cawaco and received funding to purchase two iPads for each classroom.

Students use the iPads to further reading, math and research skills. The iPads are equipped with educational apps such as Scholastic News and games to reinforce conceptual math and sight word reading, Neighbors explained.

“A lot of schools are taking advantage of technology to not only enhance students’ learning, but to make it fun,” Drayton Cosby, with Cawaco, said.

Using iPads in the classroom also introduces the students to using technology in an academic setting at an early age.

“(iPads) allow these young students to access so much more information so much quicker,” Waggoner said. “There are so many educational advantages.”

“They’ve got to realize how to use these (iPads) to be where they want to be as a scholar,” Mooney added, explaining “the future of our world is in electronics.”

OMES Principal Debbie Horton explained the iPads allow teachers to take classroom learning “to the very next level” and also achieve the school’s goal of preparing students for not just the next grade level, but for a successful future beyond school.

“We prepare them for jobs that have not yet been created,” Horton said, noting the importance of technology in current job market. “They are preparing themselves for a future that has not yet been created.”

– See more at: http://www.shelbycountyreporter.com/2015/02/12/omes-first-grade-brings-technology-into-the-classroom/#sthash.GAQJ7Au0.dpuf

 

Jan 272015
 

Cawaco has Atlas greenhouse frames, heaters and fans for sale. We purchased these greenhouses at a reduced rate and will pass that savings on to you!

Request information and shop prices below.

Oct 132014
 

Meet Judge Chris Green of Blount County. He serves on the Cawaco Board Personnel and Executive Committees.

Chris is both a Blount County Probate Judge and Commission Chairman. He has also served as the Blount County Revenue Commissioner and Blount County Administrator.

Chris loves to go fishing, especially along the Beautiful Locust Fork River.

He also enjoys music. ”I love to play the fiddle and often get together with friends for a little front porch music jam.” He says.  Chris is also active in his church and enjoys being the music leader at  First Baptist Church Cleveland, Alabama.

I asked Chris how he came to know Cawaco RC&D, and he told me, “I became involved with Cawaco while serving as the Blount County Administrator. I appreciate the fact that CAWACO is very involved in projects that preserve our environment and provide increased recreational opportunities for our citizens.”  He then added, “Cawaco has assisted in multiple projects to improve our County Parks such as; making our restrooms handicap assessable, providing for a special trail to identify native trees and roof repairs to park buildings just to name a few. Cawaco has also assisted in many projects for properly equipping our volunteer fire departments.”

 

Sep 092014
 

 

Executive Director Kellie Johnston makes Natural Resource presentation at the Your Town Alabama workshop on September 8, 2014.

Executive Director Kellie Johnston makes Natural Resource presentation at the Your Town Alabama workshop on September 8, 2014.

 

 

 

 

Cawaco constantly strives to promote the wise and thoughtful development of our natural resources, and has funded the Your Town Alabama program for several years. Your Town is a workshop for community leaders and planners. To learn more about Your Town, go here: http://www.yourtownalabama.com/

Aug 202014
 

Recently the Rocky Ridge Fire Department received a 10,000 grant from Cawaco RC&D for river rescue equipment. Since the purchase of the equipment, it has been used four times- and one of those times was during a training class on how to use the equipment!

The money allowed the fire department to buy a winch to go up and down steep hills. They were also able purchase this board along with floatation device to transport an injured person in the water.

For pictures and video, go here

 

Jul 012014
 

Paul McCaleb, Outstanding Council Member

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Cawaco RC&D Council Chairman Paul McCaleb won the McCarty Award for Outstanding Council Member of the Year during the Alabama State RC&D Council Annual Meeting held in Mobile on May 30.

Paul McCaleb recognized for the following contributions to Cawaco:

  • Cawaco’s budget grew from $25,000 per year (1992) to over $500,000 (2014).
  • The Council is audited on a yearly basis
  • Parks and Recreation were made top priority for the next 2 years
  • Cawaco is one of the most successful, strongest Councils in Alabama

Paul McCaleb has been actively involved as a Cawaco Council member for over 30 years.  He serves on the Executive Board of the Alabama Association of RC&D Councils, and attends all scheduled state and local meetings. Paul is well-known and respected throughout the region.  Utilizing his influence and contacts, he has been able to identify several impactful Council projects, including: Equipment for fire and police departments, procurement and maintenance of a trailer equipped with tools for trails building and maintenance [to be used by volunteers], and educational programs for schools throughout the region.  Recently he introduced Cawaco to the Administrative Assistant to the Mayor of Birmingham, in an effort to form an alliance to help revitalize underserved areas of North Birmingham.
 
His commitment to the environment extends to his personal projects, utilizing sustainable methods for managing his forest land, planting wildlife plots, and installation and management of long leaf pine.

Cawaco Program Manager Wins Two Awards

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Programs Manager, Patti Pennington received Employee of the Year AND Appreciation for Outstanding Service from the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation & Development Councils.  The awards were received at the State RC&D meeting, May 30th in Mobile, Alabama. 
 
The award for Outstanding Service was due to her support and leadership of the Electrathon Project.  Specifically, Patti was instrumental in developing the initial relationship with SKY as the program was beginning; nurturing the program and encouraging them to apply for Council grants.  The program provides hands-on education in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM) to Calera High School students.  The program has moved from developing battery operated cars at Calera High School, which were donated and used as medical vehicles in Honduras, to a state wide competition that excites students to learn STEM skills while educating the public about alternative vehicles.
 
As Employee of the Year, Patti is in full charge of AARCDC program projects (challenge, education, and community development).  She brings an attitude of patience with grantees and nurtures their vision in service to others.  She is responsible for coordinating all public relations on behalf of the Council and does it in a way that elevates the Council in the eyes of the public.  In her administration duties, Patti also manages several successful Council projects: Seeds for Change, Tool Trailer for Trails and the River Kids Program. 

Jul 012014
 

Fred Crawford  ALASKA1

Fred Crawford is the Economic Developer for Chilton County. As such, his responsibilities are to recruit business and to work with business to help them stay in Chilton County and/or expand.

Fred tells me he enjoys trying to get autographs on baseball cards, as well as autographs of baseball Hall of Fame players on baseballs.

His passion is to help the University of Montevallo and the American Village in any way he can. He hopes Cawaco will help make some dreams a reality through its grants program.

Fred says Cawaco was foreign to him until he was hired and took the position as Economic Developer, in June of 2012. He then found out about Cawaco by looking in the files of the Industrial Development Board. Fred tells me, “I thought Cawaco looked like a good thing to be involved in.”

Since then, Fred  has become a very active Board Member who ferrets out new projects and identifies areas of need in Chilton County.

I asked Fred what types of projects he is most interested in, and his response was, “Projects that interest me the most are the ones that get young people to think responsibly about in their life.”

He added, “The grants to the LeCroy Career Technical School and to Calera High School are the ones that I like best. The students are challenged by what they do and it makes them better people.”