The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy in Alabama (TNC Alabama) is the Alabama chapter of the worldwide environmental advocacy and conservation group The Nature Conservancy. It is the largest conservation organization in the state.
The worldwide organization was founded in 1946 as the Ecologists Union, an outgrowth of advocacy efforts initiated by some members of the Ecological Society of America. It changed its name in 1950 and was incorporated as a non-profit in Washington D.C. in 1951. Soon later it began growing with regional chapters and began acquiring natural areas through purchases and grants, which it managed as nature preserves. In the 1980s the organization expanded internationally with federal funding to support its conservation partnerships in Central and South America.
The Alabama chapter was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in the Landmark Center at 2100 1st Avenue North. Branch offices are located in Gurley, Madison County and in Mobile. Mitchell Reid has served as state director for the Alabama chapter since December 2020. Former directors have included Kathy Stiles Freeland.
In 2023 TNC Alabama was awarded several federal grants for habitat restoration projects at Coffee Island in Mobile County, the Perdido Watershed in Baldwin County; and forest management services at the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge in Bibb County and the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge in Calhoun County. In addition, EBSCO provided grant funding for restoration work on the Locust Fork River, redirection of stormwater runoff in the Birmingham area, and development of a connection between the Alabama River and the Cahaba River. In September of that year, the organization leveraged its Ireland Opportunity Fund to acquire a 596-acre tract at Wheeler Mountain in Bibb County.
Also in 2019 The Nature Conservancy acquired the former City Paper Company building at 3700 1st Avenue North in North Avondale. The group made plans to renovate the building for its headquarters offices, as well as to operate a "Conservation Center" with meeting space for other groups. Williams Blackstock Architects designed the renovations, which had to account for a roof collapse. The Shelby Company served as general contractor.
- Byington, Pat (December 19, 2020) "Well known local conservationist tapped to lead The Nature Conservancy in Alabama." Bham Now
- Watkins, Sara (February 17, 2023) "Q&A: Mitch Reid and The Nature Conservancy." Yellowhammer News
- Clark, Cara (May 3, 2023) "The Nature Conservancy tapped to manage two wildlife refuges." Birmingham Business Journal
- Parker, Illyshia (June 6, 2023) "EBSCO makes significant investment to protect rivers, direct stormwater." Birmingham Business Journal
- Thrailkill, Laurel (September 26, 2023) "The Nature Conservancy makes 596-acre acquisition in Bibb County." Birmingham Business Journal
- Watson, Nathan (October 15, 2023) "An inside look at The Nature Conservancy’s new headquarters in Birmingham." Bham Now
- The Nature Conservancy in Alabama at nature.org