Samford University's Vulcan Materials Center for Environmental Stewardship and Education and department of biology have received a $20,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham for revitalization of the portion of Shades Creek that runs through property owned by Samford. The project is being undertaken in conjunction with Friends of Shades Creek, Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Birmingham Audubon Society.
The goal is to return the creek and surrounding area from Old Highway 31 to Homewood High School to its natural state for use as an outdoor classroom.
Immediate project include eradication of non-native species such as kudzu and privet so that species native to Alabama, such as azaleas and mountain laurel, can be added and encouraged to thrive. Native plants will be identified with signage.
The long term plan also includes making the area attractive to birds as a sanctuary.
In addition to being enjoyed by persons using the existing greenway trail, the area will be available for outdoor classroom use by community students and teachers.