Local Conservation Partnership Receives Grant Funding from REI Co-op
Huntsville, Alabama – REI Co-op has awarded Land Trust of North Alabama and Alabama Rivers Alliance a $20,000 grant from REI Huntsville in support of a joint conservation and recreation initiative. REI funding will help support efforts to convene community conservation partners in the Huntsville area to achieve a common conservation vision and enhance public opportunities to experience nature. The grant amount will be distributed between the two organizations as well as provide funding for micro-grants available to local conservation partners who pursue projects that complement the community’s conservation vision.
This collaborative effort will bring together local conservation and outdoor recreation organizations in
the Huntsville region on a regular basis so they can work together to ensure the area is growing with
rivers and forests in mind. The Tennessee River Basin is home to a treasure trove of biodiversity and
provides many recreational opportunities to residents and visitors. In order for this area to continue to
grow and thrive with nature at the forefront, it is essential to protect and preserve our important
ecosystems. Partners will work together to encourage developers, city planners, elected officials,
business leaders and community members to prioritize the preservation and enjoyment of nature as
they plan and manage growth in the Huntsville region.
“We are honored to be a recipient of this grant from REI,” Cindy Lowry, executive director of Alabama
Rivers Alliance, said. “Our work and reach in Huntsville continues to grow as we make a concerted effort
to collaborate with our local partner groups like Land Trust of North Alabama and others. We are thrilled to now include REI in those conversations and collaborations to help make Huntsville an even better place to live and explore.”
In addition to the two grant recipients this partnership currently includes:
Flint River Conservation Association
Huntsville Canoe Club
Rise Raptor Project
North Alabama Sierra Club
University of Alabama at Huntsville Office of Sustainability
Wetland Education Learning Project (WELP)
Watershed Coordinator Madison/Limestone Soil & Water Conservation
Recreation Fostering Conservation Advocates
Land Trust of North Alabama will also utilize funding from the grant to enhance the trail system at
Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve. By providing area residents with more opportunities for outdoor
recreation, the public is increasingly engaged as advocates for preserving our natural resources.
“Conserving our great natural places for people to find their connection with nature is a key part of the
Land Trust’s mission. The collaborations and the expanded trail opportunities created through this grant
will exemplify the power of working together.” said Marie Bostick, Land Trust of North Alabama
Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve is located in the heart of Huntsville – only 3.5 miles from
downtown and easily accessible to all residents of and visitors to North Alabama. The property currently
provides a total of 650 acres of natural land available, free of charge, for public recreation trails.
Suitable for beginners and experienced hikers and riders, these trails will traverse diverse terrain from
mountainside slopes to flat forest land. Already a catalyst for collaborative efforts, this new trail build
project on Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve will pull together volunteers from numerous
organizations including Alabama A&M University, area corporations, REI team members, and individual volunteers. Their efforts will result in tangible preserve improvements that make North Alabama a more vibrant and a healthy place to live, work and play.
For more information about Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve, visit landtrustnal.org/chapman-
About the Land Trust of North Alabama
Land Trust of North Alabama is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving natural lands, water
resources, and wildlife habitat in ten counties of North Alabama. Residents and visitors alike enjoy
outdoor adventure on 70+ miles of free public trails on seven public nature preserves. The largest of
these, Monte Sano Nature Preserve, is one of the largest urban nature preserves in the US and located
only two miles from Huntsville City Hall. The Land Trust provides environmental education programs and guided hikes to encourage future stewards and connect people with nature. More information at
About Alabama Rivers Alliance
Alabama Rivers Alliance is a statewide network of groups working to protect and restore all of
Alabama’s water resources through building partnerships, empowering citizens, and advocating for
sound water policy and its enforcement. For additional information, please visit www.alabamarivers.org.