Cahaba River Society honors clean water champions, elects 2017 Board of Directors at Annual Meeting - Cahaba River Society


Contact: Casey Laycock, Director of Development
Phone: 205-322-5326 ext. 416
E-mail: [email protected]

BIRMINGHAM, AL. Cahaba River Society hosted its 2017 annual meeting, Cahaba Communities Coming Together, to a packed house last Thursday night at Social Venture in historic Woodlawn. At the meeting, CRS honored the individuals, organizations, and businesses who have done extraordinary work on behalf of Alabama’s environment and the Cahaba River.  A list of the 2017 honorees follows:

Lifetime Achievement Award – James Lowery

This highest of all Cahaba River Society awards is reserved only for those who have performed exceptional service on behalf of the Cahaba River. Only given a few times per decade, this year the Cahaba River Society honored James Lowery for his countless hours of volunteer service on nonprofit boards and aiding them in achieving professionalism and effectiveness, years of roaming and documenting Shades Creek and the Cahaba, educating the public about why they should care about the environment, and for the creation of the Birmingham Mineral Railroad Sign Project.

 Cahaba Conservationist of the Year – Cahaba Riverkeeper, David Butler and Myra Crawford

For work on the Colonial Pipeline Spill & Disaster and the Cahaba Swim Guide, with Cahaba River Society’s deepest appreciation of the cooperation on behalf of the Cahaba River.

 Watershed Conservation Development Award –Crowne Partners, Inc; Lorborbaum & Odrezin Associates; Mott MacDonald

For Crowne at Cahaba River, a water-smart project that meets growth goals while protecting and restoring water resources.

Cahaba Vision Award – Natalie Kelly

For engaging diverse people and community leaders across government, corporations, and environmental nonprofits to elevate ideals and practices of environmental sustainability in the Birmingham metro region. The Vision award is only given occasionally for creative and transformative people and projects that can make a long-term difference for the Cahaba and our region’s environment.

 Corporate Friend of the Year – Amerex, Inc.

For employees’ service to the Cahaba River with the privet pull at Moon River and years of support of Cahaba River FryDown.

Outstanding River Advocate – Alabama Rivers Alliance

For promoting and guiding the Alabama water planning process with expertise, graceful persistence, and unwavering commitment to collaboration and inclusive stakeholder engagement.

Educator of the Year – Carla Marchant, Mandy Cramer, Deanna Straub of Shades Mountain Elementary School

For excellence in teaching youth about the Cahaba River and helping the Cahaba River Society’s CLEAN Program expand service to third graders.

Volunteer of the Year – Hans Paul

For years of volunteer service to the Cahaba River Society and his essential behind-the-scenes support for Cahaba River Fry-Down.

 Community Partner of the Year – America’s First Federal Credit Union

For partnership with Cahaba River Society, contributing marketing materials and signage for Fry Down, and for employees’ volunteer service.

 Public Service Award – Irondale on the Move Advisory Committee, City of Irondale, Greater Irondale Chamber of Commerce, Irondale Commercial Development Authority, Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham

For the Irondale On the Move Planwhich has brought citizens, business and government together to create a dynamic Comprehensive Plan that proposes innovative ways to protect the Cahaba River.


Cahaba River Society members also voted to elect the 2017 board of directors at the annual meeting. Newly elected directors include:

Pam Baugh—a community volunteer retired from a 27-year career teaching high school biology and 6th grade science.

Henry Hughes—Vice President of Education at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, creator of the Centennial Trees urban forest restoration program, and volunteer Executive Director of Friends of Shades Creek.

Bradford T. McLane—Chief of Administration at NaphCare, a Birmingham-based governmental contractor providing correctional healthcare services to local, state and federal clients.  Previously, Brad worked as a Senior Attorney for Southern Environmental Law Center in Charlottesville Virginia, as a Trial Attorney for the Environmental Enforcement Section of the United States Department of Justice in Washington DC, and as founder and 1st Executive Director of Alabama Rivers Alliance.

Margot Shaw—Editor-in-Chief of flower magazine, Margot is a Birmingham native who is both a patron and participant in the arts. She studied Art History and Sociology at Hollins College in Virginia, Interior Design at the University of Texas and has an ongoing interest in photography.

Directors who were reelected include:

Cheryl Morgan—licensed architect and retired Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture of Auburn University.

Jay Pigford—Partner, ArchitectureWorks whose current work focuses on education and institutional architecture and the reuse and repurposing of Birmingham’s historic buildings downtown.

Stuart Roberts—a community volunteer and financial advisor providing advice to a diversified client base in Birmingham over the past 22 years.

Michelle Blackwood—Marketing Specialist with America’s First Federal Credit Union and co-founder/President of Friends of Shades Creek.

Nancy Long—retired Birmingham landscape architect and founding partner of Nimrod Long and Associates.

John English—a communications and public relations consultant recently retired as Public Affairs Manager for Vulcan Materials Company.

Check out our photo gallery below!

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About the Cahaba River Society

The Cahaba River Society works to restore and protect the Cahaba River watershed and its rich diversity of life.  CRS is an educator, expert resource, and collaborative partner for science-based and practical solutions.  The Cahaba is the main drinking water source for the Birmingham Water Works Board, which serves about one-fifth of Alabama residents. The Cahaba has more species of fish per mile than any other river in North America and is considered to be nationally and globally significant for freshwater biodiversity.