Updated for 2018
The North Alabama Land Trust’s “Tuesdays On the Trail” program is a wonderful way for even the busiest of families to spend some time together outdoors. Don’t tell the kids… you’ll learn a lot about local environmental education too!
Tuesdays on the Trail programs take place every Tuesday in June and July at various North Alabama Land Trust preserved areas and properties.
I took my family and set out to the first program of their summer series last week – lucky for you there are still several weeks of activities left, but you must hurry! Space is limited and availability fills up fast.
What to Expect
Each program has a different focus and features local flora, fauna, and conservation topics. This first session was fishing at Harvest Pointe Square, one of the newer NALT Preserves. As a native, it was great to discover a new place that encourages nature exploration and is available for the public to enjoy.
We joined the rest of the group under a pavilion and listened to a brief talk about the kinds of fish that lived in the ponds and a little history about Harvest Square Preserve and the animals that lived around it. The majority of kids were ages 5-10 and everyone was excited to be there!
A demonstration on how to tie a hook, line, and sinker to our cane pole came next. All the materials were provided by the Land Trust and there were plenty of volunteers on hand to help families. After that, we were ready to fish from the bank!
Again, there were several helpers stationed around the pond to help bait hooks and take fish off the lines after they were caught. Many fish were caught and you could hear several squeals of delight around the pond. The fish were too small to keep so back into the water they went. We fished for about an hour and headed home at dusk.
My boys really enjoyed TotT and we can’t wait to go back! The Land Trust staff are very knowledgeable, and great about igniting enthusiasm for nature in kids.
An Award-Winning Program
“Tuesdays On the Trail” was honored by the Environmental Education Association of Alabama (EEAA) as Alabama’s Best Community Environmental Education Project. That’s pretty high praise, especially since those who win this accolade are only eligible to win once and have bragging rights for the duration of the program!
“Education and outreach is part of the Land Trust’s core mission,” affirms Marketing Director Cathie Mayne.
“There is simply nothing better than seeing kids faces light up when they are connecting with nature – except for watching the parents faces as they see their children discovering a whole new world. We truly believe that fostering appreciation of nature and the need to preserve the places we love is vital to raising the next generation of land preservation advocates.”
2018 Tuesdays On the Trail Schedule
Reservations are required in advance, and all programs are FREE for Land Trust members! Call 256.534.5263 to RSVP – long pants, bug/tick spray, and water recommended. Call soon – sessions fill up quickly!
June 5, 5:00 PM – Fishin’ at Harvest Square Preserve
The classic kickoff to TOtT – use our cane poles (or bring your own) and try your hand at a simple way to catch fish! Learn about Alabama’s native fish at our Harvest Square Preserve ponds. You’re welcome to bring a picnic or snacks.
June 12, 9:00 AM – Critters Can Tell the Tale: Water Quality
Come splash with us in Fagan Creek. Wildflower Trail is the best way to reach the creek and we’ll look for critters and insects that will “tell” us about clean freshwater streams. 15 children (ages 6+) with accompanying adult.
June 19 at 9:00 AM – Raptors on Chapman Mountain
Curt Cearley with RISE Raptor Project Inc. will be out at our newest preserve to introduce you to Sassy, a Red Tailed Hawk, and Maximus, a Eurasian Eagle Owl. Learn all about these beautiful birds of prey and the environments in which they live.
June 26, 9:00 AM – Tracking at Matthews Nature Preserve
Nick Sharp, Nongame Biologist for the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Program, will guide us through the fields and trails at Matthews Preserve and teach us how we can use clues from our environment to gather information about the wildlife nearby.
July 10, 10:00 AM – Float on Flint Creek with Alabama EcoAdventures
(Cost: $15.00 per person – payable at the event)
Explore Flint Creek via canoe or kayak with Jay Grantland of Alabama EcoAdventures and our friends at Waterworks Center for Environmental Education in Hartselle. Ages 10 and up – no younger tagalongs. Capacity: 20 children with accompanying adult. Please wear clothing & shoes that can get wet and bring sunscreen, drinking water, towel, and camera.
July 17, 11:00 AM – Art and Archaeology at Rainbow Mountain
t’s a picnic at Rainbow Mountain! Bring your sack lunch and start this event off with lunch in the pavilion. From there, Archaeologist Ben Hoksbergen will guide you through some of the iconic limestone formations that have made Rainbow Mountain (almost) famous. We’ll finish up the day with an archaeology-inspired art project led by Sarah Hart.
July 24 at 10:00 AM – Bloucher Ford Float
Director of Freshwater Programs for the Nature Conservancy in Alabama, Jason Throneberry, will guide us on a Flint River adventure departing from our Bloucher Ford Property. You can look forward to a short float down the river while learning about the Flint’s unique ecosystem.
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