Are you looking for a way to get involved in the outdoors in a meaningful way? The morning program at the Cahaba Lily Festival can introduce you to several opportunities with various groups. The following environmental organizations will have displays and/or speakers at the festival:

Cahaba River National Wildlife Refugehttp://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=43665

The patches of lilies that are viewed during the festival are located within the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the refuge was established September 25, 2002 to protect and manage this section of the Cahaba River and land adjacent to it. As mentioned on their website, the Cahaba River NWR is home to five federally listed species including the Cahaba shiner, goldline darter, round rocksnail, and cylindrical lioplax snail.

Friends of the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refugehttp://cahabafriends.com/

The mission of the friends group is to support the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge in its efforts to protect, preserve, and restore its diverse, natural, and historic resources in a manner which will enhance the educational and recreational aspects for the public. The Friends host the annual Renew Our Rivers Cleanup which removes trash from the refuge. Members of the Friends group will be assisting with the festival and will be set up along the river for the tours.

Cahaba River Societyhttp://www.cahabariversociety.org/

The Cahaba River Society’s mission is to restore and protect the Cahaba River watershed and its rich diversity of life. They provide canoe trips along the Cahaba, including the canoes for the festival, but their activities go way beyond that. Their CLEAN program helps educate our young people about our waterways. They work with businesses and municipalities along the river to reduce sedimentation and erosion. They partner with other organizations to increase awareness of water issues. The lily festival is a great day to learn more about this exciting organization.

Living River: A Retreat on the Cahabahttp://www.livingriver.org/

Another partner of the festival is Living River, a retreat property currently under construction by the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley. If you are not familiar with the environmental care that is being taken in the planning of this property, come check it out at the festival. They provide the shuttle transportation to and from the river on the day of the festival.

The Nature Conservancyhttp://www.nature.org

The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. They work in all 50 states and in 35 countries around the world addressing threats to conservation. To find out more about what the Nature Conservancy is doing in Alabama, join us for the morning program.

Other environmental organizations participating in the festival include the Alabama Wildflower Society George Wood Chapter, Bibb County Citizens for Wildflowers and the Cahaba River Authority.

Want to join one of these organizations? Or just find out more? We’ll see you Saturday morning!