May 062019

Enjoy this presentation that highlights the work being done throughout the state by Resource, Conservation & Development Councils in Alabama.

Presentation 2019 Annual ConferenceFinal
 Posted by at 8:59 am
May 242017

Cawaco is working with the Nature Conservancy, the Regional Planning Commission, the Birmingham urban forester, Alabama Forestry Commission and other agencies to map Birmingham trees.

Why? For numerous reasons, urban foresters need a snapshot of the health, age, species, placement and condition of the urban forest. In order to understand pressures, stressors, insect and storm damage and have a plan to replace failing, ill and dead trees. Trees are an important to Birmingham! Alabama summers are brutal without them!

As the Urban Forestry Group begins to tackle an urban forestry plan for the city of Birmingham, we are starting a pilot study for tree inventory this summer.  Our first year we are working at a small scale using the USFS I-Tree Suite to quantify forest structure, environmental effects, and value to communities in 3 city parks in the upper reaches of Village Creek – East Lake Park, John Hawkins Park and Wahouma Park.

Become a volunteer and learn how to identify, measure, locate and map city trees!

Oct 242016
 In 2016, Cawaco projects built 11 miles of trails, restored 20 acres of habitat, educated over 3000 children and more than 2000 adults. For every dollar we spent, we were returned a minimum of eight dollars in added value. See the one-page graphic report here.
Please check out our Annual Report! THANK YOU for all YOU DO in your communities, and when you are out there, remember identify the needs in your communities! And also remember to thank your local legislators for allowing us to continue to receive funding. Without our partners we cannot accomplish anything! 
Click here to read about the projects funded in 2016. 
 Again, thank you all for your help in making 2016 a success for Cawaco and helping to build a better Alabama!

Soil Health Workshop July 18

 Community, Project Development  Comments Off on Soil Health Workshop July 18
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!

 Posted by at 4:35 pm

Invasive Plant Workshop

 Community, Grant Projects, Project Development, Projects  Comments Off on Invasive Plant Workshop
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


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.

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.

 Posted by at 1:55 pm

Cawaco Provides Technology in the Classroom

 Community, Grant Projects, Grant Success, Project Development  Comments Off on Cawaco Provides Technology in the Classroom
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:


 Posted by at 9:32 am

Greenhouses Available at reduced cost

 Cawaco Programs, Community, Project Development, Wholesale Greehouses  Comments Off on Greenhouses Available at reduced cost
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.

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:

Dec 162013

Jefferson County Member At- Large

Jefferson County Member At- Large, Sheila Baker says she would like to see Cawaco become more self-sufficient.

Jefferson County Member At- Large, Sheila Baker says she would like to see Cawaco become more self-sufficient.

Board member Sheila Baker was raised in Bridgeport, CT and went to school at
UAB. She currently resides in Birmingham. Like many of us, she moved here to be
closer to her family.
When I asked Sheila what she likes most about Alabama, she replied, “I like the
feeling of being home. I love that the signs upon entering the state say, Welcome
to Alabama the Beautiful. I could go on and on about this.”

“The land is beautiful, whether it be rivers, farm land, the mountains, awesome beaches or the inner city streets. I also love how communities come together in the spirit of doing what is in the best interest for our communities.”

The only things Shelia doesn’t like about Alabama: Too many tornadoes and not enough snow. Sheila is employed as a Social Worker with Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging. She says she enjoys her job because she helps people become self-sufficient by empowering them.

Sheila has been on the Cawaco Board since 2007, when working in the same building with the Cawaco staff, she became intrigued by RC&D. RC&D, she realized, went hand in hand with her own beliefs of self-empowerment. She is most appreciative of the Cawaco project that helped to bridge the digital divided between seniors and the rest of their community. “It is awesome to see seniors using the internet to keep in contact with their families, receive and sending
pictures of grandkids and great-grandkids or to complete a job application on-line.” she said. One thing that Sheila finds disturbing is the lack of healthy food choices for the elderly and lower-income individuals. “If healthy foods were affordable, people would be more inclined to eat healthy. But how many can realistically afford to eat healthy when the cost is so much greater than purchasing cheaper,
processed food?”

When I asked her what she would like to see Cawaco do, she said “I would like to see Cawaco become completely self-sufficient. I envision us as having income that is generated for our community projects earned by ventures from us. I know it’s good business sense and in my heart of hearts I know we will make this great achievement especially with the leadership that we have in the Staff and our Board Members.”
Among Sheila’s many hobbies and interests, she enjoys reading, cooking and traveling

 Posted by at 12:52 pm

Take the Survey!

 Project Development  Comments Off on Take the Survey!
Apr 102013

Cawaco is soliciting your input as to what you feel is the direction the Council should take over the next five years. This survey will only take 5 minutes to complete, and could make a big difference in your community. Let your voice be heard and let us know how to better serve our 5-county area.

Click here to take the survey:




 Posted by at 10:26 am