Fire safety tips we all should remember! Please read and share!

You can be a part of great projects just by shopping !!!!! Use the link below. Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to support Cawaco programs such as first responder support, school and small town/neighborhood revitalization. Help us help others!

WCCT and the famous bus have been spotted again! This bus is quite a celebrity.

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We visited Curry today with Senator Reed and Rep. Rowe. Cawaco awarded Curry Fire & Rescue a grant to upgrade their communications system. Curry acquired the truck pictured through community donations. Thanks to all first responders everywhere! We appreciate being able to help with these projects and always appreciate the support of our local legislators.

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Wow! Check out the new trees in Jasper that a Cawaco grant helped to buy!

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We were at the University of Montevallo with Scott Dillard, special assistant to the president, Senator Cam Ward, Rep. April Weaver, Rep. Matt Fridy, and Montevallo president Dr. John W. Stewart, to announce the Cawaco grant for Montevallo Lake. What a great project! We love the sign!

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We visited Shelby Iron Works Park last week, along with Rep. Corley Ellis, Frank Hebert, and volunteers with the historical society. Cawaco helped the park with some much-needed building upgrades. We appreciate Corley Ellis as a former Cawaco board member and thank him for all he does for his community. 🙂

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Fire Prevention Grant Program.

Application Deadline: November 30
Funding requests will be considered to help support organizations working to combat fire for a wide array of fire prevention, preparedness and control efforts. Here are some examples to use as a guide:
• Pre-Incident Planning (computer software programs, laptops)
• Fire Prevention Education/Training (community outreach initiatives, workshops, publications)
• Arson Prevention/Fire Investigation (juvenile fire setter programs, continuing education courses, digital and specialized cameras, accelerant detection equipment) APPLICATION BELOW:

Cawaco is SO PROUD to be a small part of the funding for the historic Alabama Theatre 18th street sign. We're looking forward to celebrating this event on New Years Eve! The Alabama Theatre is truly a treasure in the state of Alabama. Pictures don't do it justice! Come see it your self and enjoy the holiday film series and the New Years celebration! 😃

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Learn how to coexist with wildlife and support diversity and healthy wildlife habitat. Learn about wildlife rehab centers and how YOU can help local wildlife.

On Monday we visited Turkey Creek Nature Preserve (the crown jewel of North Jefferson County). The Friends of Turkey Creek received a 2017 grant for building upgrades. The preserve serves thousands of visitors yearly, and the nature center hosts a variety of educational events year round.
The Cawaco tool trailer is housed and maintained at the Preserve, and the greenhouse pictured came from Cawaco.
We appreciate Senator Shellnut for his support of the preserve, and of Cawaco! We also greatly appreciate the dedication of the Friends of Turkey Creek and Karen Hutchenson and the efforts of Charles Yeager. Thank you all for making Jefferson County a better place for everyone.

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We visited Palmerdale and Glennwood fire departments this week to announce the completion of equipment grants for the departments. Senator Shellnut and Representative Treadway are to be commended for being active public servants and allowing Cawaco the funding that helps with these first responder projects. We want communities and the firemen to stay safe!

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Thorsby and Cawaco in the news!

Cawaco News and End of Year Report, plus project updates and resources for grant writers!

We visited Thorsby High School last week with Senator Cam Ward and Representative Jimmy Martin. Cawaco awarded the high school a grant for dressers for the library and has provided funding for the pavilion/park that is used for school functions.
We appreciate the legislators who continue to support our efforts to serve these communities.

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With Thanksgiving on the way, who intends to fry a turkey? What do you do with the 5 gallons of used oil? If you live in Jefferson County, there are several locations to recycle your used cooking oil. NEVER pour it down the drain or on the ground!
You don't want to create a "fat berg" like the one they found in London, or Baltimore (pictured)!
Recycling locations are listed below.

We were in Shelby County yesterday visiting with Kim Joiner at the Shelby County Soil & Water education garden. This garden was made possible through the generous donation of soil through the Scott Company. Check out the sign for a list of all the partners that made this project awesome!

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YES! Technical schools are important for the future of this country, and for Alabama.

Look! We made the front page!
Please note this grant announcement is for 2016-2017 grants and not the 2018 grants. 🙂

We were featured on WCRL in Blount County today during their Radiothon! We were presented with an award and announced that BCEF was awarded another grant for 2018 to cover supplies for the Summer Learning program.
We'd like to thank local leadership like Dean Calvert and Cawaco board member Judge Green for helping identify worthwhile projects throughout the county. But mostly we need to thank legislators like David Standridge, Shedd and Shellnut for making sure Cawaco receives funding that goes back into our communities!
It's always a pleasure working in Blount County with these great folks!

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Cawaco has been a long time funder and supporter of this wonderful program, which has trained community leaders and citizens on how to envision and plan their towns and communities to make them better for everyone.

We were in Walker County today to announce the completion of several projects, including the City of Jasper Paw Park (fencing), WCCT Rat Rod bus (tools), Friends of Downtown Jasper streetscape (design), Hope House Church (kitchen equipment).
We are stoked that we have such strong community leadership and partners in Walker County!Senator Greg Reed and Representative Rowe are both very active in helping us locate worthwhile projects, as are our board members, Paul Kennedy and Keith Pike.
The 2018 grants will be announced soon so stay tuned!

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Local Alabama produce being served in local schools? Yes!

Tools for Trails Update! The trailer and the tools got a lot of use in 2017. We had 647 volunteers use the tools and the trailer was used 117 hours to clear 20,604 feet of trail. The volunteer contribution of this work has an estimated value of $109,782.96. We'd like to show our appreciation to Charles Yeager, who has a full time job managing Turkey Creek Nature Preserve but still finds the time to maintain the tools, keep an inventory and schedule use of the trailer for us. Thanks Charles!😉

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Cawaco was at Highland Lake this week, where we helped the police force get some updated equipment for their cruiser. Senator Shellnut and Rep. Standridge are instrumental in helping us reach out to the communities they serve in Blount County.

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We were in Townley this week, with Senator Greg Reed and Representative Tim Wadsworth, to announce the community storm shelter that will be built there. Cawaco, with the assistance of the legislators, helped identify this project, where a small grant to the Town of Townley helped them meet their match requirement for a large federal grant. The shelter, once it is built, will keep the community safe during natural disasters.

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Southern Pine Beetles Reach Epidemic Level in Montgomery County

Forestry professionals’ earlier predictions of a bad year for pine beetles is unfortunately coming to pass, especially for some counties in Alabama. Timber losses may be significant according to officials with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC).

“When trees are drought-stressed as many are from last fall, their weakened state makes them more prone to insects and diseases,” commented AFC Forest Health Coordinator Dana Stone. “This summer, we have seen a large number of trees dying across our state’s pine forests, and the culprit is southern pine beetle. In Montgomery County, AFC foresters have aerially detected over 100 beetle spots. When the number of beetle spots for a county exceeds one tenth of one percent of the pine-forested acres for that county, it qualifies as epidemic. Having fewer pine acres, Montgomery County has now reached that threshold.”

According to Stone, “The Alabama Forestry Commission conducts flights throughout the year for the purpose of detecting and marking beetle spots on a digital map. We then send notification letters to landowners advising them that they have an infestation, along with suggested control measures.” She continued, “Southern pine beetles are the primary killer of pines in Alabama, with unmanaged and overcrowded stands of southern pines most susceptible to attack. Epidemic populations of this bark beetle occur periodically in the state, destroying hundreds of acres of pines. If not controlled, these expanding populations can devastate entire stands, causing millions of dollars in damage.”

“We encourage forest landowners to monitor their property for signs of damage, then contact their local AFC office or registered forester for management recommendations before taking any action,” said State Forester Rick Oates. “The Alabama Forestry Commission will continue to conduct both aerial surveys and ground checks to assess beetle activity across the state.”

The Alabama Forestry Commission is the state agency charged with protecting and sustaining Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principals and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. Additional information regarding southern pine beetle may be found at www.forestry.alabama.gov.

OF INTEREST TO FIREFIGHTERS:
Igniting Behavior Change — A Tactical Approach to Fire Safety Communication

In the world of public fire safety education, we often meet people who need to change risky behaviors—or adopt safe behaviors—but are ambivalent about doing so. Numerous studies have shown that simply conveying facts often is not enough to promote action and change. This webinar will cover motivational interviewing (MI) as a tactical approach to more effective fire safety communication.
You are invited to join the fifth webinar in U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) Fire is Everyone’s Fight™ Webinar Series. In this webinar, we will provide participants an opportunity to learn more about what MI is and how it differs from other styles of communication. Participants will observe MI as style of communication for engaging individuals and groups of community members to promote public safety.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
2:00 – 3:00 pm EDT
Attendance is limited so register today!
https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5188367057753884163

We got to visit with our favorite teachers today! Anthony Myrick and Michael Craig with Walker County Center of Technology. It's always nice to spend time with teachers who go the extra mile to make sure their students get the best educational experiences they can. The students told me they really didn't enjoy being back in school but they do enjoy shop class. 🙂

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Summer Newsletter!

Within the past year National Audubon has launched a database that links people to specific information plants for birds at the zip code level (http://www.audubon.org/plantsforbirds).

A sampling of some of the community gardens we support through the seed and soil programs. Looking good! 👍🏽

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We helped Chilton County parks and rec get new security cameras and monitoring system for Higgins Ferry and Minooka Park. The system can be monitored by desktop or on the Park managers smart phone. Cameras are motion activated and the park managers can pick any date and time during any month and check activity. This is one of those projects that is useful all year, keeps the public safer, will be useful in years to come, and meets one of our priority focus areas of parks and recreation. 🙂

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March2Stestsucess provides an online study program to help students prepare for standardized tests, improve school work and review materials. They also provide tools for educators and parents to track and encourage their students.
https://www.march2success.com/

APT offers adult education classes and other educational resources. Check it out!

ATTENTION EDUCATORS AND S.T.E.M. TEACHERS! National Science Foundation grant opportunity.

Synopsis of Program:
The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidencebased
understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal
environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences;
advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public
of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.
The AISL program supports six types of projects: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies, (2) Research in Service to
Practice, (3) Innovations in Development, (4) Broad Implementation, (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or MetaAnalyses,
and (6) Conference

Check out this aluminum water bottle that is part of the City of Montevallo's "hydration station"! The purpose? To reduce the use of plastic water bottles by having a centrally located "hydration station" (filtered water source) for Montevallo residents to refill their water bottles- and to educate the public about conserving resources and reducing waste. Way to go Montevallo! Our logo looks great on this bottle. 🙂

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We are so proud of out Teacher of the Year Michael Craig, Anthony Myrick and the students for all the cool stuff they're doing. Cawaco is proud to support this amazing project! 👍🏽

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Thorsby High School library got a small grant from us to purchase e-readers and books. Money spent on educational projects and materials is money well spent.

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Look at these brave folks at Holly Springs Volunteer Fire Department in the new turnout gear they purchased with a grant from Cawaco! We need to keep the first responders safe! THANK YOU for everything you do for the people in rural Blount County!

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Planning meeting with Roy Clem, executive director of Alabama Public Television, Caroline Martin, American Graduate project manager, Phil Hutchenson, CFO, and David Walters, State Director of Adult Education.
We are partnering with APT to educate citizens in our area about APT adult education classes and accelerated learning/Career pathways trainings that are offered statewide at a very low cost to participants.

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Just so everyone knows- CAWACO is pronounced Cuh-wah-CO.

We were incorporated in 1979 to address local problems and bring partners together to create innovative solutions, focusing on community and environmental issues.

Cawaco gets its name from the first letters of the three main river systems in the service area-(CAhaba-WArrior- COosa)

There are 9 RC&D councils in Alabama-named for the river systems they service.
We serve people and the land!

Our grant cycle is currently open!

Jasper is highlighted on Main Street Alabama! Just another example of small town vision becoming reality! Many of these visionary changes were made after City and County leadership attended a "YourTown Alabama" workshop. 🙂

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Jasper is highlighted on Main Street Alabama! Just another example of small town vision becoming reality! Many of these visionary changes were made after City and County leadership attended a "YourTown Alabama" workshop. 🙂

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Urban gardening tip!

We are really excited that we were able to help scholarship kids to participate in educational outdoor events at Red Mountain Park! They look like they're having fun!

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Hey we made the news and nobody told us! Cawaco provided the City of Jemison a grant to update their city ball fields.