December 14 – 6:30 P.M.
Join Friends of Shades Creek for the Annual Christmas Party 
Guest Speaker: Paul Freeman


November 9 – 7:00 P.M.
Cahaba Riverkeeper
Presentation: David Butler, Cahaba Riverkeeper
Homewood Library, Room 101
Our program this Thursday will highlight the work of the Cahaba Riverkeeper. Their work has been to monitor the Cahaba and its tributaries, including Shades Creek for water quality and pollutants. David Butler is the “Riverkeeper” and will talk about their swim guide, which lets the public know about streams not safe to swim in. David also monitors for point and non-point source pollution among other important undertakings. His talk on Thursday will be informative about the condition and safety of our water resources.
The mission of the Cahaba Riverkeeper is to defend the ecological integrity of the Cahaba and its tributaries. The Cahaba watershed is monitored to identify violations of clean water legislation. If notification to the violator and appropriate authorities fails to produce action, remedial and legal action is pursued to protect this unique natural resource and drinking water supply. In July 2015, David Butler assumed his new position as Cahaba Riverkeeper. He has served CRK as a Board member and active member of the Water Quality Sampling Committee. For the past two summers, he has volunteered for weekly bacteriological testing on the river in an effort to provide the river community with timely information about water quality. In spring 2015, Butler led the successful Renew Our Rivers cleanup in Helena. He also has been a strong advocate for cooperation among parties interested in the health of the Cahaba River.


November 5 – 2:00 P.M.
Hike to see: Red Mountain Park Historic Areas
Meet at Red Mountain Park Entrance
Guide: Shelby Cole, Director of Education
If you attended our Friends of Shades Creek meeting in October, you were fortunate to see historic photos of Red Mountain Park and hear some of the history of the park. Now, we have the opportunity to visit and hike to some of those places and hear more about the fascinating history of this area. Mining on Birmingham’s Red Mountain including what is now Red Mountain Park was a part of what built a city where Birmingham is today. Shelby Cole, Director of Education, at Red Mountain Park will guide us on our hike to learn more about this interesting chapter of our area’s history.


October 12, 2017 
History of Red Mountain Park
Presentation by Jeff Newman, (Historian and Maintenance) and Katie Bradford, (Community and Public Relations) –
Red Mountain Park
Homewood Library, Room 101
Attention history buffs: Check out our Friends of Shades Creek meeting Thursday, October 12, when Jeff and Katie from Red Mountain Park will be presenting slides, stories and information about the history of Red Mountain and Red Mountain Park. They will show some great photos from past mining days on Red Mountain and talk about plans for the future. Amazing history, historic photos and time for Q & A about one of the largest urban parks in the United States.


August 5, 2017
Outing with Friends of Shades Creek
Friends of Shades Creek Canoe trip will start at Living River at 9:30 A.M. on August 5. The trip will start on the Cahaba and will join Shades Creek at the confluence. We will travel up Shades Creek for about ½ to ¾ mile. Take-out will be just past the site of the removed Marvel Slab on the Cahaba River. Randy Haddock will be our guide.


We do not meet for monthly meetings in June and July


May 4, 2017
The Centennial Tree Program
Presentation by Henry Hughes, Director of Education, Birmingham Botanical Gardens
We will meet at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, front plaza – 6:00 PM
Our May meeting will be a walking/talking tour at the gardens. We will start at the front gate/plaza (or in the main building in case of rain). We will then see how seeds are collected and stored for the Centennial Tree Program. They are then transferred to the potting shed for planting. We will check out the crop for the 2017 fall planting. We will also look at trees in the gardens and discuss how leaves work and why they come in different shapes and sizes.

This will be an outdoor program, but will move inside the greenhouse in case of rain. This program will give you a chance to observe first-hand (without Power-Point) the community- educational tree planting program of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens called the Centennial Tree Program. To see more information about the Centennial Tree Program, click here.


April 15, 2017
Shades Spring Creek Cleanup – Brookwood Village
Meet at Grill 29 at Brookwood Village – 8:30 AM to noon
Bring closed toe shoes that you can wear in the water – we will have areas in the creek and also dry areas to cleanup. We will provide trash bags and gloves, water and snacks.
Celebrate Earth Day early and help with our cleanup.


March 9, 2017
Restoration of the Alabama Gulf Coast
Presentation by Chris Oberholster, Partner and Policy Director, Birmingham Audubon
Homewood Library, Room 101, 7:00 PM
Chris will give a presentation about restoration work on the Alabama Gulf Coast. He will update us about newly protected land along Shades Creek and the Cahaba River and will talk about the process of protecting sensitive land areas. He will also leave time for a Q & A session so meeting attendees can ask him questions about any of these topics.

Chris is currently working as “Partner and Policy Director” at Birmingham Audubon and before that worked with the Nature Conservancy for 23 years. He grew up in South Africa and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Masters in Agronomy and Soils from Auburn University

February 9, 2017
New Adventure! Tracking Sea Turtles with the help of drones


January 12, 2017
Challenges and Opportunities
Presenter: Mitch Reid, Program Director, Alabama Rivers Alliance
Homewood Library, Room 101
We are starting the year off with a look at challenges and opportunities in the local, state and federal government. The next few years could be tough, but underlying everything is the belief that people really do want clean safe affordable water resources for drinking, for utility in homes and for recreation. Friends of Shades Creek as well as other groups plan to advocate for this, for all citizens.

Mitch manages Alabama Rivers Alliance programs, working with both the state and federal governments towards real and lasting protection of our rivers.  Some of the projects that Mitch is working on include a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency to reform the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s pollution permitting program, the relicensing of several Alabama Power hydroelectric dams under the oversight of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and working with partner groups from around the state to develop protective and sustainable water policies for Alabama.

Mitch hales from Bellwood, Alabama, a small town on the Choctawhatchee River in Geneva, county.  He graduated from Slocomb High School in Slocomb, Alabama and then went on to pursue his undergraduate degree at West Point and his law degree at the University of Alabama.  After West Point, Mitch served in the Army until 2004.  He was stationed for most of his military career in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 16th Military Police Brigade. During this time, he was deployed to Afghanistan from August of 2002 until March of 2003.  In 2014 he  completed the United Nation’s Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) course on International Water Law which focused on the common principles associated with sharing water resources and protecting the right to water. During his free time, Mitch and his wife Sarah, along with their two adorable boys, enjoy paddling and photographing the beautiful rivers and streams of our state.