Cahaba River Society works to inspire River stewardship through education, recreation, and volunteer service projects.

We believe that connecting people to the Cahaba through hands-on experiences is the best way to inspire care for the River.


How our programs connect people to the river to inspire river stewardship:


Recent Achievements:

  • Immersive Environmental Education: Our CLEAN Environmental Education program has long celebrated its dynamic ability to educate diverse young people and inspire their interest in environmental science, while empowering them to take ownership of their water resources. The power of this program has provided pathways to environmental careers for many youth (especially youth of color who historically have not seen this as an opportunity available to them).
  • This past year schools began to slowly feel comfortable with rescheduling CLEAN programs, and we celebrated serving 937 youth and teachers through 40 field trips, virtual, and in-person classroom programs from Aug 1, 2021 through July 31, 2022. Just since January we’ve brought 682 students and teachers into the River for hands-on, feet  wet learning. Since 1996 we’ve served over 41,800 youth with CLEAN programs!
  • Between August 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022, we held 24 volunteer and intern workdays with 177 participants, achieving projects from the headwaters of the Cahaba all the way to its confluence with the Alabama River. Partners included Homewood High School Environmental Club, YouthServe, Jefferson State Community College, Spire Energy, Sunrise Rotary Club, Friends of Shades Creek, Good People Brewing, Old Town Cahawba Archaeological Park, CleanHoover, Living River Presbyterian Church Camp, ARC Realty, Alabama Scenic River Trail, and river guardians from Trussville and Irondale.
  • An important initiative of our new program director has been to formalize relationships with partners Osprey Initiative and Bridgestone Tires 4 Ward so that we can recycle as much river litter as possible. To date we have sustainably recycled 336 pounds of tires from three cleanups, as well as 22 pounds of aluminum and 16 pounds of plastic – by weight, over 700 aluminum cans and 420 plastic bottles. Our volunteers and interns have also removed 500 invasive Chinese parasol trees and shored up eroding riverbanks by planting 300 live stakes cut from willow and other fast-rooting trees.
  • With support provided by generous funders like IPC Foundation, Little Garden Club, and Garden Club of America, CRS hired four college interns in 2022 who have assisted in these restoration projects. The interns also researched botanical information on the Cahaba’s leading invasive species and their management. This builds on the work of the 2021 interns, who researched science about river buffer zones and floodplains, and contributed to a guide we are currently completing to help landowners and developers protect their riverbanks and native forests. Thank you to our partners for investing in Cahaba River Society and making our impactful work a reality!
  • Launched “Project Tarobliteration” to root out invasive taro plants from Cahaba riverbanks and Cahaba Lily habitat. Click here to read more about “Project Tarobliteration” and invasive taro on the Cahaba River.