Cawaco featured on RootsRated website

Cawaco recently got some press on RootsRated!

RootsRated is a website designed to help outdoor enthusiasts find the best hiking, trail running, climbing, paddling, cycling and more- (including food)- in 30+ cities around the country- all according to local experts. So if you are looking for things to do locally, or while travelling, check out their website! And if you know of places in your area that are not listed, email them and they will add it. We recently suggested the addition of Palisades Park for  rappelling.

To read the article about Cawaco RC&D, click here. 

To learn more about the Little Shades Creek Stream Restoration Project, click here.

Cawaco Wins Project of the Year Award

Cawaco was awarded the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation & Development Council’s  Project of the Year Award for 2014, for the “Tannehill Wastewater Treatment” project.

Read more about this project in the upcoming spring edition of the Cawaco Newsletter.

We were very honored to be the recipient of this award, when there are so many worthwhile projects throughout the state to choose from!  We were excited to accept this award in the presence of one of our good friends and supporters, Senator Greg Reed.

Beginning Farmers Outreach Meetings Scheduled

Cawaco RC&D to host Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Outreach Meetings.

Cawaco is partnering with USDA/NRCS and local Soil & Water Conservation Districts to host Beginning Farmer and Ranchers workshops in Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby and Walker Counties during FY 2015.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps farmers and ranchers use conservation to help the environment while improving agricultural operations. But not everyone knows about the variety of programs and services offered through USDA agencies like NRCS.

Cawaco is attempting to ensure the workshops are reaching landowners and rural citizens of different backgrounds. “Our goal is to extend our outreach to minority farmers and new farmers, and reach those potential customers that perhaps we have not made contact with before,” said Kellie Johnston, Executive Director for Cawaco RC&D.

To enhance outreach, Cawaco RC&D is hosting outreach meetings with other USDA agencies where farmers and landowners can meet with NRCS district conservationists to talk about their resource needs. In addition we are working to reach small and limited resource farmers and landowners who may be unfamiliar with the many programs and services of NRCS.

To find out about dates and locations, click here.

Cawaco Provides Technology in the Classroom

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—Oak Mountain Elementary School first grade students have been able to supplement their learning with iPads, thanks to a $5,000 grant from Cawaco Resource, Conservation and Development Council in partnership with State Senator Jabo Waggoner, R-Birmingham, and Rep. Arnold Mooney, R-Birmingham.

On Feb. 12, the OMES students and teachers had a chance to present how the iPads have been implemented in the classroom.

“We use our iPads in so many different ways,” OMES first grade teacher Anne Neighbors said. “We really appreciate your generosity.”

OMES first grade teachers applied for the grant with Cawaco and received funding to purchase two iPads for each classroom.

Students use the iPads to further reading, math and research skills. The iPads are equipped with educational apps such as Scholastic News and games to reinforce conceptual math and sight word reading, Neighbors explained.

“A lot of schools are taking advantage of technology to not only enhance students’ learning, but to make it fun,” Drayton Cosby, with Cawaco, said.

Using iPads in the classroom also introduces the students to using technology in an academic setting at an early age.

“(iPads) allow these young students to access so much more information so much quicker,” Waggoner said. “There are so many educational advantages.”

“They’ve got to realize how to use these (iPads) to be where they want to be as a scholar,” Mooney added, explaining “the future of our world is in electronics.”

OMES Principal Debbie Horton explained the iPads allow teachers to take classroom learning “to the very next level” and also achieve the school’s goal of preparing students for not just the next grade level, but for a successful future beyond school.

“We prepare them for jobs that have not yet been created,” Horton said, noting the importance of technology in current job market. “They are preparing themselves for a future that has not yet been created.”

– See more at: http://www.shelbycountyreporter.com/2015/02/12/omes-first-grade-brings-technology-into-the-classroom/#sthash.GAQJ7Au0.dpuf

 

Circle of Diamonds Tier II Awarded to Cawaco RC&D

Cawaco RC&D is very excited to announce that we have been granted enhanced (Tier II) Circle of Diamonds membership by the National Association of Resource, Conservation & Development Councils in the National Circle of Diamonds Program, thus becoming one of only 25 RC&D Councils out of 375 nationwide to have qualified for this elite status!

The Circle of Diamonds program highlights the work that RC&D Councils perform in their communities and recognizes good stewardship of the local non-profit council in “Making Things Happen.” It is set up to be a proactive means for RC&D Councils to demonstrate that they are complying with best non-profit management practices and basic requirements of the RC&D statute (Public Law 107–171, Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, Sections 1528-1537) .

By earning Tier II membership, Cawaco RC&D Council has clearly confirmed its ability to adhere to the high standards necessary for enhanced membership. It follows an array of governance, personnel, financial management, and planning policies and practices that ensure its effective action and transparent and honest administration.

Low Impact Development Workshop

The North River Project will be hosting Low Impact Development: The Nexus of On-The-Ground Implementation and Stormwater Compliance, December 15, 2014 at the Northport Civic Center. Information covered in the workshop include:
• The economic importance of water protection
• NPDES Stormwater requirements
• Introduction to the Low Impact Development Handbook for the State of Alabama
• Training and case study on mitigating the effects of stormwater using low impact development methods.

Registration is $25 and includes lunch. The announcement, with agenda and registration information is attached. Seating is limited. Register by December 10th to reserve your seat !!!

Online registration: www.lowimpactdevelopment.eventbrite.com

Download flyer here

Project Update- Greystone Elementary Outdoor Classroom

Back in 2011, Cawaco awarded Greystone Elementary School a grant to develop an outdoor classroom.  This first phase of the project allowed them to purchase native plants and trees, create a rain garden, and  install a pond.  They also bought a cistern to collect rainwater off the roof of the school to water the plants. This saves the school a lot of money, and it helps conserve our most precious resource- water.
IMG_3896  On October 27, 2014, Greystone was awarded their Outdoor Classroom certification from the Alabama Wildlife Federation!  It is always a delight to see projects blossom and mature!

Visit with Cornerstone

Patti Pennington was at Cornerstone School on October 20,  and met Ms. Crist and her kindergarten class. There have been many improvements since Cawaco helped Cornerstone get their garden going! Teacher excitement and involvement has made this project a HUGE success! Herb gardens, a rain barrell, and a sign with the Cawaco logo on it are among the new additions! The kids are outdoors every opportunity they get.

 

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