1) Fort McClellan Receives $152 Million Cleanup Pledge
2) Alabama Universities and Colleges Making Environmental Commitments
3) Jenkins Brick's New Facility Wins EPA Award for Innovation
4) Help Wanted: Three Alabama Non-Profit Environmental Job Openings
5) BEN Notes: Bham News Alabama Sturgeon Slideshow, SAFC "Into the Woods", ALEEC E.O Wilson, Household Hazardous Waste Day in Jefferson County, 17th Annual Bay Area Earth Day, 3rd Annual Mountain Longleaf Festival, Earth Day at the Gardens, Auntie Litter's 16th Annual Earth Day Parade, Five Mile Creek Greenway Cleanup, Wolf Bay Spring Cleanup, Spring Concert at Three Caves, Cocktails with the Critters, Great Southeast Hiking Festival
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1. Fort McClellan Receives $152 Million Cleanup Pledge - Thanks to a recent pledge of $152 million by the Department of Defense, the former Fort McClellan site near Anniston, Alabama will become the site for one of the largest environmental cleanup initiatives in state history.
"This amount of funding for the clean up of a former military base is simply unprecedented," said Pete Conroy, Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Board member and director of JSU's Environmental Policy and Information Center. The money will go toward treating polluted groundwater, cleaning up unexploded ordnance, capping landfills and neutralizing other problems created at McClellan because of its history as an Army base.
A map recently developed by the JPA shows that there are currently 1200 developable acres at the 20,000 acre former base. The cleanup of potentially dangerous unexploded munitions is likely to take 10 years, followed by another decade of monitoring. The funding may clean enough land to provide up to 8000 acres of safe and developable acres in ten years. Through an earlier partnership between the JPA and the departments of Defense and Interior, the establishment of the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge has already protected 9200 acres at McClellan for wildlife and conservation.
The JPA's announcement is the result of long-term negotiations with the military for McClellan's continued redevelopment. JPA board members credited Alabama's congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. for helping with the negotiations.
2. Alabama Universities and Colleges Making Environmental Commitments - Earlier this month, Presidents at Jacksonville State University (JSU) and Birmingham Southern College (BSC) made two major environmental announcements and commitments.
At JSU, the Board of Trustees set into motion the construction of the Little River Canyon Center for Dekalb County. Located near Fort Payne, bordering Little River Canyon on Highway 35, the 26,000 square foot environmental center will include public spaces for meetings, classrooms, a library, museum and National Park Service offices. A key feature of the center will be its commitment to LEED certification. Known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED projects have become commonplace in other parts of the nation as a way to be more sustainable through utility savings and environmental sensitivity.
JSU President Bill Meehan stated in a recent press release, "It makes sense! I challenge other universities to explore LEED certification because if we all did it, we would make a real impact conserving our financial resources and protecting our natural resources."
Also making a major environmental commitment this was Birmingham Southern President David Pollick. In an effort to combat climate change, Dr. Pollick signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment as a charter signatory to the pledge to become climate neutral, making BSC the first institution of higher education in the state to join the effort. Organizers of the initiative seek the commitment of 200 college and university presidents by June 2007.
3. Jenkins Brick's New Facility Wins EPA Award for Innovation - Jenkins Brick's Jordan Plant in St. Clair County, Alabama was recently awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency the EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Project of the Year.
Along with building a plant that has the capacity to produce 136 million bricks a year, Jenkins tapped into a nearby landfill to use methane as an energy source in the production of their project. The plant, which was constructed by Brasfield Gorrie receives about 50% of their gas usage from the landfill. By capturing and using the methane gas from the landfill, Jenkins is reducing the equivalent energy to power 13,700 cars per year or 166,000 barrels of per year.
4. Help Wanted: Three Alabama Non-Profit Environmental Job Openings - Presently, three of Alabama's leading environmental organizations have job openings. They are:
Ruffner Mountain Nature Center - Ruffner Mountain is seeking an Administrative Assistant. Details on how to apply can be found at http://www.ruffnermountain.org . The deadline to apply is May 1st.
Alabama Environmental Council - The Council is seeking an Executive Director. The job description can be found at http://www.aeconline.ws The deadline for applications is May 11th.
Alabama Rivers Alliance - ARA is seeking a Watershed Leadership Coordinator. The job description can be found at http://www.alabamarivers.org . The closing date for the position is June 1st.
5. BEN Notes: Bham News Alabama Sturgeon Slideshow, SAFC "Into the Woods", ALEEC E.O Wilson, Household Hazardous Waste Day in Jefferson County, 17th Annual Bay Area Earth Day, 3rd Annual Mountain Longleaf Festival, Earth Day at the Gardens, Auntie Litter's 16th Annual Earth Day Parade, Five Mile Creek Greenway Cleanup, Friends of Hurricane Creek Chili Cook-Off, Spring Concert at Three Caves, Cocktails with the Critters, Great Southeast Hiking Festival
Bham News Alabama Sturgeon Slideshow - A few weeks ago, an Alabama Sturgeon was captured in South Alabama. This Birmingham News has written and produced some extraordinary stories about this fish, which is the most rare fish in North America. Check out the Birmingham News photos at http://www.al.com/birminghamnews/photos/ - Look for the April 5th Slideshow.
SAFC "Into the Woods" - If you know anyone in Asheville, North Carolina, encourage them to attend the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition's annual fundraiser called "Into the Woods" on Friday, April 21st. For details, go to http://www.safc.org
Auburn University Earth Week - Auburn University's Sustainability Initiative will be holding events throughout the campus from April 15 to April 21. For information about the week-long celebration visit http://earthday.auburn.edu
ALEEC E.O Wilson - On April 21, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Samford University's Leslie Stephens Wright Center, the Alabama Environmental Education Consortium will be hosting E.O. Wilson and a number of speakers, including Sally Bingham from the Interfaith Power and Light Program. Contact Ginny Brown at 205-726-4246 for additional information.
Household Hazardous Waste Day in Jefferson County - Jefferson County will be holding their annual Household Hazardous Waste Day on April 21, 8:00 AM to Noon at Regions Park Stadium, the Center Point Court House, Bessemer Civic Center and the Alabama Fairgrounds. For additional info contact Sissy Mitchell at 444-7543.
17th Annual Bay Area Earth Day - The 17th Annual Bay Area Earth Day, now "Earth Fest" is scheduled for April 21, 10-5 at the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center on the Causeway. Check out the Earth Fest website at http://www.5riversearthfest.org for details.
3rd Annual Mountain Longleaf Festival - Don't miss the 3rd Annual Mountain Longleaf Festival on April 21, 10-3 at Historic McClellan near Anniston, Alabama. For event details, visit or call 256-782-5681.
Earth Day at the Gardens - The 10th Anniversary of Earth Day at the Gardens will be held Sunday, April 22, 1-5 PM at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. For details call Anna Sizemore at 205-414-3965 or visit http://www.bbgardens.org
Auntie Litter's 16th Annual Earth Day Parade - Auntie Litter's 16th Annual Earth Day Parade will be held Monday, April 23, at Kelly Ingram Park in downtown Birmingham from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. To participate, call 205-879-3009 or visit http://www.auntielitter.org
Five Mile Creek Greenway Cleanup - Help cleanup Five Mile Creek by participating in the 4th Annual Five Mile Greenway Cleanup on April 28. at 8:00 AM near Fultondale. For volunteer information contact Francesca Gross at 205-264-8464 or Michael Sznajderman, Alabama Power Service Organization at 205-257-4155.
Hurricane Creek Chili Cookoff - Help cleanup Hurricane Creek near Tuscaloosa, and secure yourself some fine chili at the 13th Annual Hurricane Creek Cleanup and Cookoff on April 28th, starting at 9:00. For further details go to http://www.hurricanecreek.org
Spring Concert at Three Caves - Dualtone recording artist, RobinElla and the CCstringband will headline the 2nd Annual Spring Concert at historic Three Caves (in Huntsville) on Thursday, May 3rd, 6:00pm. The concert highlights The Land Trust of Huntsville and North Alabama's 20th Anniversary Celebration. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at 256-534-5263. Please RSVP by April 30th.
Cocktails with the Critters - National Geographic's Photographer in Residence, David Doubilet will be the guest of honor at "Cocktails for Critters." The event will be held at the Five Rivers Alabama's Delta Resource Center on May 3rd from 6:30 until 9:30, and will benefit the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation. Tickets are $75. For additional info call 251-861-8710.
Great Southeastern Hiking Festival - Come celebrate "hiking" in the Southeast at The Great Southeastern Hiking Festival, to be held May 3-6 in Montreat, North Carolina. For more information about this regional event, visit http://GreatSEHikingFestival.org