Fall is a time to celebrate the change in seasons. We’ve certainly undergone many changes as an organization this year. We began the year with a huge legislative victory in Birmingham: the passing of a new urban agriculture ordinance. Before the city council approved a permitting process, any form of urban agriculture was technically illegal within the city limits.
This fall and winter, part of my task has been to contact and help community garden managers throughout Birmingham understand the permitting process and also assess their needs and visions for their gardens in the future. It’s been a pleasure to meet so many people invested in improving access to healthier food and physical activity throughout their communities. Weld, a weekly news publication in the city, recently declared in October that Birmingham was a “city of gardens.” I can personally verify this proclamation.
Over the past two years Conservation Alabama has also been advocating for Complete Streets policies throughout Alabama. Cities like Anniston, Birmingham, Montevallo, as well as a number of others have created policies that will privilege multiple users through changes in infrastructure: larger roads to accommodate cyclists, sidewalks wide enough for users of all abilities and needs, just to name a few. Stay tuned for updates as we move into planning and implementation stages of some of these policies. They have laid a foundation for all sorts of exciting opportunities for economic development, healthier citizens, and stronger communities. These policies and the great changes they are bringing for our state are just another way Conservation Alabama Foundation is working to protect the people and places you love!