Check out the presentations from the 2019 Alabama Rivers & Streams Network Annual Conference!

Hey they got our name right!! 👍🏽🙂

We continue to support our first responders!

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Charles Yeager presenting Turkey Creek Rush Darter Fish Passage project. Cawaco is proud to be one of the partners supporting their work.

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We are currently delivering (and mailing) vegetable seed to community and school gardens all over Alabama!
This week we went to Adamsville Elementary, Childersburg High School, Oak Grove Elementary and also delivered to seeds banks located at the Blount-Jefferson Regional Library and the Oneonta Public Library- AND to other community gardens!
We enjoy getting out in communities and connecting with people, and learning how people create bonds through gardening.
Much of the produce is donated to lunchrooms, students, or homeless shelters.
The seed we receive are donated by Whitley’s Feed and Seed in Snead, Al. They generously donate their leftover seed to us each year, so it won’t go to waste. Their kindness makes this program possible.

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Alabama Communities of Excellence is currently accepting applications for the competitive 2019 class through March 11, 2019 and encourages towns of 2,000- 18,000 population range with a commitment towards the program to apply for the upcoming application.

Applications may be found on the website at

A free training workshop will be held Friday, January 11, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama to assist those interested in the application process. Please note, there will be two workshop sessions held on the 11th, but each session will provide the same valuable information. Registration is expected for those planning to attend the event. The first session will be held from 9:30- 11:30 a.m., and the link for registration can be found at 2019workshop/. The second session will be held from 1:30- 3:30 p.m., and the link for registration can be found at

Attached you will find a map listing of current ACE Communities along with an informational flyer regarding the Training Workshop.

Happy New Year! Here’s a reminder that we are currently delivering vegetable seed. If you have already filled out the seed application and have not received an email from us, check your spam folder and add us to your safe list.

This year we received far less seed than in previous years so act now or you may miss out!
Email Patti at with your daytime phone number and delivery address as well as dates and times you’re available in January. The Cawaco 5-County area takes precedence. However, we will be distributing the seed statewide through our sister RC&D councils!
If you haven’t applied for seed (and soil) go to the website and fill out the form today. 🙂

Did you know that 60% of Alzheimer's patients will wander, and most of them wander repeatedly? There are 90,000 victims of Alzheimer's in the state of Alabama. People aged 85 and over are the fastest growing segment in our society with 8,000 individuals turning 85 every day!
Cawaco granted Alzheimer's of Central Alabama a grant to purchase Project Lifesaver Kits for patients with Alzheimer's who wander. Alzheimer's of Central Alabama offers caregiver support, education, and research support.

We are honored to be awarded this grant and to be mentioned by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. This project also includes the following partners:University of West Alabama, Geological Survey of Alabama, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

In an effort to protect and restore Alabama’s waterways, Cawaco partners with the Alabama Rivers & Streams Network to locate issues within Strategic Habitat Units in Alabama’s River Systems. If you are aware of problem areas in Alabama rivers and/or streams, and would like to report it for possible restoration, fill out this form.

It’s easy!

Just note any problems you see that could impede wildlife, such as pollution, fish passage, invasive species, etc.

Note the location, gps, road crossing, etc.

Tell us what the problem is.

Tell us what you’d like to see done about it.

Take photos.

Your input will be entered into a database and could be chosen for restoration. Funds are available for projects that will improve endangered species habitat so help us locate locations that need help! Thanks !

Merry Christmas to you and yours! -

Cawaco would like to wish you and yours a happy, healthy holiday and blessings throughout the new year.

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The latest Cawaco newsletter/2018 End of Year Report! -

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We support first responders!

We visited Shelby Emergency Assistance in Montevallo last week, with Senator Cam Ward and Rep. April Weaver and got a tour of their new facility. Cawaco helped fund the upgrade of the SEA teaching kitchen.
Shelby Emergency Assistance exists to provide the basic needs for people in crisis, helping them achieve self-sufficiency. find out more at

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Update! We added some photos! Thanks to everyone who came out and helped! We got a lot of trash out of the creek and planted a bunch of native plants!

We will be at East Lake Park planting the streambank along Village Creek this Sunday, November 11 at 1pm. Come join in on the fun and celebrate Veterans Day by planting a tree in honor of your favorite veteran!
East Lake Park Village Creek Restoration

Sunday November 11 Registration 12:30 PM At Shepherd Center East Parking Lot Planting 1– 4 PM Community Service Credit Available

Meet at the Shepherd Center East 200 84th Street North OR REGISTER AT WWW.RUFFNERMOUNTAIN.ORG

PROJECT PARTNERS: The Nature Conservancy Birmingham Parks and Recreation Birmingham Stormwater Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve Cawaco RC&D Council Village Creek Society

Contact: Francesca Gross Urban Conservation Program Manager The Nature Conservancy 205-732-3942
Partially funded by a 5 Star Grant from The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation And Southern Company

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Your purchases can make a difference! AmazonSmile donates to Cawaco Resource Conservation And Development Area when you do your holiday shopping at Amazon.

Very nice article by Ed Howell of the DME. We enjoy the work we do in Walker County!

A video about the tree planting at East Lake Park!

Saturday we had perfect weather to plant a native forest at East Lake Park! Partnerships and volunteers makes events like this a success. Thanks so much to TAP for the volunteer athletes. Mayor Woodfin came out to enjoy the day as well.

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Five years ago, it was a warehouse and they fed the hungry using crock pots and an old stove. But with the spirit to serve the community, and the dedication of volunteers, Hope House Church now serves roughly 300 meals per week, and makes meal deliveries. "We give people hope", says pastor Thomas Martin.

Come out to East Lake Park this Saturday and help us plant some trees! The holes are already dug! Registration is FREE and the first 30 people to show up get a free tree to take home!
This initiative is part of a project we have collaborated on with The Nature Conservancy, the Alabama Forestry Commission, the City of Birmingham, Jefferson County SWCD, and Ruffner Mountain Nature Center to survey the Birmingham City tree canopy, assess it's health and plan for the future. Come take a part in history!

We like to make sure Alabama citizens are safe.

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We are proud to support M4A in their efforts to educate first responders who are confronted with the challenges of citizens with dementia. M4A is taking this project into all 5 Cawaco counties!

ATTENTION TEACHERS! Do you know you can take your class on a field trip without leaving the classroom? Now you can- and it’s free!

Please share and let other know about these important resources available to families struggling with dementia related illnesses.

Lesson plan that teaches kids how to test air quality in their homes, classrooms and outdoor environments!

We are always excited when stuff we do makes the paper! 🙂

A sample of projects funded in 2018! Click the link to see all the awesome stuff going on in the area!

We visited Bluff Park Elementary today with teacher Katie Collins, Rep. Faulkner and Senator Waggoner, and spent some time learning about the Maker Spaces learning library that was funded through a small Cawaco grant. Children learn hands-on problem solving skillls, teamwork and socializing, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math!
We really enjoyed visiting with all the students and teachers! 😃

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Cawaco makes positive impacts on all the counties surrounding Birmingham!

Congratulations to Alabaster Fire & Rescue and Alabaster PD for being certified "Dementia Friendly" departments. This certification ensures the departments have been trained how to interact with citizens who have dementia. It also helps to connect these departments to resources that M4A provides the community. Cawaco recently awarded M4A a grant to help expand the program throughout the 5-county Cawaco area.

Cawaco has a cargo trailer full of trail-building equipment and it is available to volunteer groups and non-profits in the metro area.
We now have the rental agreements and the scheduling calendar online!
Again, we’d like to thank the Birmingham Ultra Trail Society for covering the replacement of the tools that were stolen in April!

We visited Columbiana yesterday and met with Paula and Mary Cooper to discuss the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) project.
Mary Cooper explained to Senator Jim McClendon, Rep. Corley Ellis, and Shelby County Cawaco Board Members Chad Scroggins and Kevin Morris about the program.
HIPPY is an an evidence-based home visiting program designed to support parents in their role as their child's first and most important teacher. HIPPY fosters children's intellectual, social and physical development by empowering parents with skills, tools and confidence necessary to work with their children in the home.
Trained instructors conduct home-visitation that includes the delivery of a cognitive-based curriculum, and delivers 30 weeks of high-quality school readiness activities and books directly to parents, who then work 15-20 minutes a day with their own three to five year old children.
Cawaco is happy to help with this amazing project by providing funding for backpacks and curriculum.

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Another instance where a small grant made a large impact. It just takes some vision and a few dedicated people to make a difference in a community!

Look at what Remlap Fire Department did with a tiny little grant from Cawaco! They updated their antiquated computer system so now they are able to better serve the community. They will be able to receive FEMA grants and send reports to them. In order to be able to send these reports you must have the correct computer equipment, and this grant helped with that.
Additionally this grant helped to lower the ISO rating. With EMS runs, EPCR reporting is being used to send these reports to the receiving hospital. These computers are necessary for making arrangements with the receiving hospital for ambulatory services.

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We attended the Dreamcatchers graduation ceremony at Susan Moore elementary this morning. This ceremony honored the students that attended the Blount County Education Foundation summer program Dreamcatchers segment. Over 70 kids graduated and got certificates and backpacks!
Cawaco was one of many funders for this exceptional program. We would like to thank the Blount County legislators Representative David Standridge, Senator Clay Scofield and Rep. Randall Shedd for continuing to support Cawaco and identify worthwhile projects in their districts!

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Are you the recipient of a Cawaco grant? Is your project complete? Have you submitted your final report? Are you aware that the DEADLINE to submit your paperwork for reimbursement is August 1?
Are you having problems? Call us at 205-623-0457
Find the Final Report Form on the website ( under "Forms"

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Water is life. We tend to forget how necessary water is to everything we do, and that water is a very precious- and limited- resource.
Our actions today matter to all future generations. Please always be conscious of your water usage.

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On Saturday We attended the opening ceremony for the Palisades fire tower! The fire tower was constructed in 1949 and through various grants and community support, has been restored, meets safety standards and is open to the public! To access the tower, guests will go to the park office and purchase a ticket and sign a liability waiver.
Cawaco board members Chris Green and Doug Smith were present at the event, as were representatives from the Palisades Park board, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and the Forestry Commission.

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Donate now and help assure the preserve has the support it takes to remain open! This incredible property is located in Jefferson County and draws visitors from all over the Southeast. Unlike a state park, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve has no funding for staff, and one man manages the preserve, cleans up trash, hosts events, keeps people safe, finds lost pets and keys, grows native plants that are planted all over Alabama,serves as a rescuer during floods, and on top of that, he holds education events for students, and coordinates volunteer events and night hikes! He also schedules use of the Cawaco tool trailer, for which we are deeply grateful.
Without a sustainable plan to insure future funding, TCNP will not be able to retain the manager of the preserve. Without Charles, the property will be closed to public access.
The funding received (much of which has already been raised) will be used to erect a pavilion off-site, that can be used for events and rented as a means of generating sustainable income for the management of the preserve.
Please spread the word and help raise awareness of the need for donations for TCNP.
Cawaco wants to thank Charles Yeager for everything he has done throughout the many years he has managed the Preserve to keep it open, to create trails, erect signage and benches, and keep the public safe while enjoying this incredible location. He has dedicated so much of his time to TCNP, please DONATE and if you get a chance, let the man know you appreciate what he does!