We are now South Alabama Land Trust!

For immediate release 
September 8, 2020 
Contact: Diana Brewer 
diana@southalabamalandtrust.org  |  (251) 990-5004

 

Weeks Bay Foundation is now South Alabama Land Trust

Building on 30 years of land protection that began around Weeks Bay and now includes coastal Alabama, the Weeks Bay Foundation is now South Alabama Land Trust. Protecting land and promoting environmental education remain the central focus of South Alabama Land Trust; only the area and need have grown to address rapidly-decreasing greenspace, wetlands, and natural plant and wildlife habitats.

In its history, South Alabama Land Trust has protected more than 9,500 acres of environmentally-sensitive land and habitat in Baldwin and Mobile counties. These lands will be preserved forever, and will continue to shelter wildlife and marine life, keep waterways clean, and offer the outdoor recreation that define coastal Alabama.

Under its former name, South Alabama Land Trust was incorporated in 1990 as a non-profit organization to support the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. It became a nationally-accredited land trust in 2009, and began to protect land outside the 4,000 acres that were part of the Weeks Bay Reserve.

“Baldwin County is, and has been, one of the fastest-growing counties in Alabama,” Ellis Allen, chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors said. “We are surrounded by waterways and wetlands in both coastal counties, and it’s natural that people want to live and play by the water. The land and habitats along the edges of our waterways protect our water quality, our seafood supply, and areas vital to wildlife. Our mission is to protect them, and to protect our quality of life.”

Case in point, South Alabama Land Trust and the City of Mobile are working together on a conservation easement agreement to protect 102 acres of greenspace within the city limits, along the last tributary of Dog River that has not been developed. Earlier in 2020, SALT partnered with the City of Gulf Shores to protect 836 acres on and around Oyster Bay.

“The name ‘South Alabama Land Trust’ better represents the work we are doing today and our plans for the future,” Executive Director Connie Whitaker said. “Our hearts will continue to be with our partners at the Weeks Bay Reserve, and we will continue to support their research, education, and stewardship programs.”

Whitaker added that besides protecting more land outside the Weeks Bay Watershed, South Alabama Land Trust is also broadening its stewardship and outreach programs. Through activities such as habitat restoration, tree plantings, kayak tours, and nature walks, community members of all ages will learn about the coastal environment, and get excited about taking care of it, she said.

“We will continually look for ways to give our community opportunities to play a role and have a positive impact on the environment,” Whitaker said.By becoming South Alabama Land Trust, we are confident more people will get involved and will grow their love and care for the natural resources throughout south Alabama.”