Alabama Environmental Council
The Alabama Environmental Council, (formerly the Alabama Conservancy) is a statewide non-profit environmental education and advocacy organization with offices located in the former Barber Milk Company headquarters at 2717 7th Avenue South in Lakeview. The group seeks to promote protection and preservation of Alabama's natural resources and heritage, and to increase awareness of environmental issues.
The Alabama Conservancy was founded in 1967 by Mary and Robert Burks along with 33 other charter members. Early projects included the development of the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center and the establishment of the Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park. The group also participated in the establishment of the Bartram Trail which crosses south Alabama and headed the efforts to establish the Sipsey Wilderness within the Bankhead National Forest. Other groups that have been launched by AEC members include the Legal Environmental Assistance Fund and the Cahaba River Society.
The group, which adopted its current name in 1995, has approximately 1,000 individual and organizational members across the state and participates in numerous public policy debates with environmental impacts, such as its involvement in the movement to reform the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and in the oversight of the destruction of chemical weapons in Anniston. In addition to lobbying and education, the group is best known for operating the Community Recycling & Resource Center, which moved from downtown Birmingham to 4350 1st Avenue South in Avondale in 2016.
Michael Churchman is the group's executive director and Dan Tenpas is the recycling coordinator. The Board of Directors is headed by Scott Hofer, with Melissa Parrish, Scot Self, and Mark Johnston as the other officers.
- Mary Burks, 1971-1977
- John Randolph, 1977-1979
- Debra Gordon-Hellman, 1982-1984
- Bettye Anne Steckel Payne, 1984-1985
- Kyle Crider, 1985-1987
- Leigh Eason, 1989
- Pat Byington, 1989-1998
- Michael Churchman, 2007-present
- Hayman, Clara Ruth (March 1997) Protecting Alabama: A History of the Alabama Environmental Council. Birmingham: Alabama Environmental Council - accessed June 22, 2007
- Alabama Environmental Council website