The Sun and Solar Energy will Rise Tomorrow

Thursday, March 12, 2020
7:00 P.M. at Homewood Library, Room 101 (Downstairs)
Paul Freeman will speak to Friends of Shades Creek about solar electric power and the benefits that it provides to home owners and business owners.  Solar energy is attractive to those who want to save money on their power bills and value cleaner, more sustainable  sources of electricity.  Others embrace solar to provide electricity in remote, off-grid location or at times when the grid is not reliable. Solar energy is a huge growth industry in many part of the country, but Alabama is lagging on taking advantage of this opportunity for economic development. Just like the Sun, the amount of solar energy produced in Alabama will continue to rise as we recognize benefits of greener, cheaper electricity.
Paul Freeman has 25 years experience as an Environmental Scientist and Ecologist. He is currently Director of Sales at Eagle Solar and Light, the largest residential and commercial solar installer headquartered in Alabama. He and his family live adjacent to Shades Creek in Homewood.

Awesome Salamanders!

February 13, 2020, Presentation:
7:00 P.M. at Homewood Library, Room 101 (Downstairs)

Jay Eubanks has enjoyed a wild career with wildlife- especially amphibians and reptiles. Jay graduated from the University of Memphis in 2001 with a B.S. in Biology. During his years as an undergrad, he spent nearly all of his free time working in the herpetology lab of the late Dr. William Gutzke. Jay assisted several graduate researchers with their projects- ranging from foraging ecology and behavior of Ratsnakes to freshwater turtle nesting ecology to digestive physiology of Alligators and Rattlesnakes. In addition to working with those projects, he assisted Dr. Gutzke with salamander surveys in the Great Smoky Mountains in search of the elusive Junaluska Salamander. Jay also worked as a seasonal keeper in the reptile department at the Memphis Zoo during college. After graduation, he worked at the Knoxville Zoo in East Tennessee, in the shadow of the Smokies, where his love of salamanders grew into more of an obsession… including a brief stint as a “Salamander Expert”- leading groups of high school students into the national park to conduct citizen science surveys sponsored by National Geographic Society.
Jay has seen somewhere around 50 species of salamanders in the wild… including Appalachian specialties like Hellbenders and  Yonahlossee Salamanders… and he even got a glimpse of an Alabama endemic Red Hills Salamander in its burrow once… but as he will discuss in his presentation, that number of species on his lifelist is everchanging… and there will always be more salamanders to see!
Jay currently offers educational programs with reptiles and amphibians in his spare time under the name “Green Snake Education”… so if you’d like to have snakes and turtles… and even a salamander at your next birthday party or event, Jay will be delighted to help you with that.


Shades Creek Watershed Management Plan

Thursday, January 9, 2020
7:00 P.M. at Homewood Library, Room 101 (Downstairs)

Learn about EPA’s 9-step watershed management planning process and the work that the Nature Conservancy is facilitating in Shades Creek. This stakeholder-driven process provides a mechanism for citizens of the Shades Creek Watershed to identify water quality issues within the watershed and propose solutions that would then become eligible for Section 319(h) grant funding.
More information about the SC Watershed Management Plan can be found here.

The project area drainage basin includes more than 80,000 acres of land in the Birmingham, AL metropolitan area. This highly urbanized watershed has encountered significant growth and subsequent alterations to natural hydrology. The Watershed Management Plan presents a unique opportunity to develop a comprehensive strategy to identify specific policies and programs to reduce stormwater flooding, improve water quality, and enhance the many benefits of the rivers and watershed area. Implementation of green infrastructure and other stormwater management projects will allow for protection of critical habitats to help mitigate the impacts of past and future growth.”

Courtney Reich, AICP, CFM is our guest speaker for the evening. She is a consultant with GMC and leads their Stormwater Practice