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.

We had a great meeting yesterday with the US Fish & Wildlife Service. We are building partnerships to help landowners and identify and rectify environmental problems that impact T&E species in Alabama.

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Our grant cycle is now open! If you are a non-profit in Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby or Walker Counties, you are eligible to apply.

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We had a great turnout yesterday for the second urban forestry tree canopy mapping training! The next training is scheduled for June 13 at Ruffner! Your $10 registration fee goes towards lunch. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/itree-train-the-trainer-workshop-tickets-33662024020

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Helen Keller Foundation Conducts Character Training Across Alabama

130 years after the famous “Miracle at the Pump” scene between Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan in Tuscumbia, Alabama, there is still a story to tell. Perhaps no one tells it better than Helen Keller’s great grandniece, Keller Johnson-Thompson. For over 25 years, Johnson-Thompson has dedicated her life by spreading the hope that her aunt’s inspiration continues to live every day through the Helen Keller Foundation’s Character Education Programs. “As religion has all but left our public schools, and as students have to face so many obstacles in their day-to-day lives, giving them examples of people that have overcome so much is so important to these kids, as well as their attitudes about themselves,” says Johnson-Thompson.


Through the Helen Keller Character Education Program, Ms. Thompson delivers over 150 presentations per year throughout the state of Alabama free of charge to Alabama’s schools through personal appearances and virtual field trips from the University of Alabama. In addition, she also focuses on other admirable Alabamians including Rosa Parks, Condoleezza Rice, Vonetta Flowers, Kathryn Tucker Windham, George Washington Carver, W. C. Handy, and much more.

To schedule a presentation at your school for the upcoming year, or to participate in a Virtual Field Trip, please contact Ms. Thompson at kellerj@helenkellerfoundation.org

Cawaco was able to help the Blount County EMA update their emergency siren system throughout the county. We would like to thank Senator Shellnut, Representative David Standridge, Representative Randall Shedd and Cawaco board members Judge Greene and Doug Smith for identifying local needs. This is what good leadership looks like!

Our second training on urban tree mapping! Sign up now! Learn how to measure tree species, age, height and diameter; assess the tree canopy; and assess tree health by measuring die back and missing limbs/branches. All info will be used to replant the urban forest!

Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Accepting Applications for USDA Organic Cost Share Programs

Montgomery, AL – Growers and handlers of organic agricultural products now can recover part of the cost of their USDA certification. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) will be allocated funds from the USDA to reimburse producers and handlers who either obtain or renew their organic certification in the fiscal year that ends September 30, 2017. The reimbursement covers 75% of certification costs, up to a maximum of $750.

The Organic Certification Cost Share Programs (OCCSP) reimburse eligible organic crop and livestock producers for a portion of their organic certification costs. The OCCSP consists of the following two programs authorized by separate pieces of legislation: the National (NOCCSP) Organic Certification Cost Share Program authorized by the Agriculture Act of 2014, commonly known as the Farm Bill, and the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Organic Certification Cost Share Program authorized by the Federal Crop Insurance Act of 2001.

“Organic producers are encouraged to participate and we hope that the program will help them recoup some of the expenses associated with becoming a USDA certified organic operation,” said John McMillan, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

The ADAI will administer this non-competitive grant program by processing applications for cost share funds, and USDA will reimburse them. USDA distributes funds on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Organic operators typically submit a one-page application form, a W-9 Tax Form, proof of certification, an itemized invoice of certification expenses, and proof of E-Verify to ADAI. The ADAI reviews the application and then may reimburse the operator for 75% of the cost of certification, up to a maximum of $750 per category of certification per year.

All farmers, ranchers, and handlers who have received organic certification or a renewal of certification from an accredited certifying agent between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017 are eligible to participate. Farms transitioning to organic production are not eligible. Most certification-related costs are eligible for reimbursement. Organic producers and handlers may be reimbursed for expenses paid for first-time organic certifications, as well as renewals of certification.

Eligible costs include the following: application fees, inspection costs, travel or per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments, and postage. Ineligible costs include the following: equipment, materials, supplies, late fees, and inspections for transitional certifications or due to violations of NOP regulations. The OCCSP reduces the cost of organic certification in accordance with the Agricultural Marketing Service’s aim to strengthen market support for U.S. agriculture.

Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2017. Application forms and additional details can be obtained by calling Johnny Blackmon with the ADAI at 334/240-7257 or by email at Johnny.Blackmon@agi.alabama.gov. If you are seeking organic certification, you can find information on the process for certification at www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/occsp.

Wow look at what the Shelby County Soil & Water Conservation District did at their office! Raised garden beds using volunteers and the donated Scott's soil! Great job!

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We were in Vestavia today and participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony at Meadowlawn Park. The park is located in a flood plain, in an area that was once house sites that were prone to flooding. Cawaco provided the grant to design the park, which includes bioswales, pervious paving, a reconstructed stream and a wetland. All this will beautify the area, get people outside,decrease flooding and help clean storm water prior to entering the creek. Great project! See more tonight on Fox6 and 33/40.

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Congratulations to the graduating class of the Blount County 9-1-1 EMT Academy! Blount County residents are blessed to have dedicated first responders as well as legislators devoted to their welfare! Cawaco granted Blount County 9-1-1 a grant to train these EMT's. We would like to thank Representative David Standridge ,Senator Shay Shelnut and Cawaco Board member Doug Smith for identifying worthwhile community projects that fit within our mission.

We were at East Lake Park today, training with Jason Gordon of Mississippi State University and Arnold Brodbeck with Auburn University. Today we learned how to create a tree inventory and measure height, diameter, crown mass, etc. this data will become a tree inventory map for Birmingham so city leaders can develop a plan to replace damaged/sick trees.
The training included representatives from the City of Birmingham public
Works department, the Nature Conservancy, Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, and Cawaco!
We will be expanding the inventory area and we need dedicated volunteers!

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REGISTER NOW to help create a tree canopy map for Birmingham!
The Nature Conservancy will conduct a pilot study for tree inventory this summer. The first year's work will begin on 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 tree inventory team leader on this study of Birmingham trees! (First training limited to 10 adults)

Cawaco RC&D provides assistance to the Alabama Rivers and Streams Network by hosting a conference for federal and state agencies, corporations and nonprofits to share information about threatened and endangered species.

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Michael Craig and Anthony Myrick are definitely valuable resources for Walker County! We're pulling for the gear heads competing in the Rat Rod Challenge. 😎🏎🚌

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Limited space for gardening? Here are some creative ideas!

The Alabama Center for Automotive Excellence currently offers three such dealership-sponsored programs at Lawson State Community College:

Ford ASSET

Only the Ford ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training) program offers Service Technician Specialty Training (STST) credentials, a requirement at Ford and Lincoln dealerships. ASSET is a 24-month program which alternates web-based and classroom academics with hands-on work at sponsoring Ford and Lincoln dealerships. Graduates earn an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology and receive the same training technicians would receive at Ford Training Centers.

General Motors ASEP

GM ASEP (Automotive Service Education Program) teaches exclusively on current GM products, incorporating advanced automotive technical training with a strong academic foundation of math, electronics, analytical and technical skills. Students alternate between the classroom and hands-on work experience at a sponsoring GM dealership to earn an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Technology or a similar degree, all while gaining work experience. Students in the ASEP program are often able to pay for their tuition with their internship wages.

Toyota T-TEN

Toyota and Lexus developed the T-TEN (Toyota Technician & Education Network) program to help quickly fill their open positions with highly-trained technicians. Like the Ford and GM programs, the Toyota T-TEN program combines classroom teaching with state-of-the-art training in a dealership setting.

Toyota or Lexus techs who attain master status can earn $85,000 per year. Graduates of the T-TEN are eligible to work at Toyota or Lexus dealerships in an entry-level position. Career progression through the 4 levels of certification and 3 at Lexus is encouraged through further education and experience, enabling workers to advance to higher positions with an increasing pay scale.

(Source: http://www.toyota.com/usa/tten/whytten.html)

Skilled trades are a great career option for many students.

For more information, visit www.lawsonstate.edu

Cawaco Newsletter

If you find a bee hive- please don't spray! Call someone to remove them. Bees are important!

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More pics! We're so proud of these students and Alabama will have the ONLY OUT OF STATE TEAM competing in this challenge. ANTHONY MYRICK AND MICHAEL CRAIG deserve so much praise for giving these students this fantastic experience! 🚌🚌🚌🚌

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Cawaco is proud to announce that the Blount County Education Foundation won the Alabama Association of Resource, Conservation & Development Council Project of the Year Award for their summer learning program, and the Scott Company won Partner of the Year for donating over $200,000 worth of top soil to school and community gardens throughout the state! Congratulations to these community leaders!

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State conference in Gulf Shores! With John McMillan, commissioner, Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries.

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With a grant from CAWACO, the Walker County Center of Technology purchased metal working equipment and engine test equipment. With this equipment they were able to build a vehicle from recycled parts from the salvage yard and build as well as test the engine for the project. Students were able to learn welding, metal fabrication and time management skills during the project!
The students will be competing at the Rat Rod Challenge in North Carolina in April. This is why Michael Craig won the Teacher of the Year Award in 2016!

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The National Endowment of the Arts is still taking applications. Here is their statement: "The President’s FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. With that said, our FY 2017 operations remain unchanged. We continue to make FY 2017 grant awards and will continue to honor all obligated grant funds made to date. In addition, we will continue to accept grant applications for FY 2018 at our usual deadlines. The President’s budget request is a first step in a very long budget process. The agency continues to operate as usual and will do so until a new budget is enacted by Congress."

Another success story! Cawaco granted Manna Farms a grant to purchase the materials to construct and cover a greenhouse.
Manna grows fresh fruits and vegetables for families in need. Everything grown at Manna Farms goes to a food share program and is distributed to about 100 families a week.

Another great project enabled by the Scotts Soil Donation program, coordinated through Cawaco!
Mr. Phillips picked up more than one load of Scott's soil, for the Bessemer High school garden featured on FOX6 news!

Learn about turkey habitat, forestry options and prescribed fire from wildlife biologists at a workshop by the Alabama Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation, and The Nature Conservancy. You can also meet and schedule landowner site visits during this time. This free workshop includes lunch, preregister by April 10 to receive a free copy of "Managing Wildlife"

The Shelby County Water Festival was held January 20 and educated 2200 4th grade students! This event was organized and hosted by the Shelby County Conservation District. This awesome event included 123 volunteers! Cawaco provided a humble grant award to cover bus transportation. In the end, this $2500 grant had a total value of $29,651.15!
Below, children learn about water in a fun atmosphere by watching the 'Fishing Magicians" and making water cycle bracelets!

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