WORRY ON THE MOUNTAIN: According to the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, Birmingham Mayor William Bell’s proposed budget allocates no money for Ruffner, a funding cut that could threaten the continued existence of the Center and its education and recreation programs. Ruffner board member Michelle Reynolds published a letter, “Birmingham budget cut threatens Ruffner Nature Preserve,” in The Birmingham News June 1. You can find it at al.com. The center continues its education programs this summer with a series of camps for kids, including “Little Naturalists” (June 13-17), “Native and Nature Ways” (June 20 – 24) and “All Things That Fly”(June 27 - July 1). To learn more, visit www.ruffnermountain.org.
COUNTY LINE DUMP: Some residents in Blount and Jefferson counties are concerned about the possible negative environmental impact of a proposed landfill in the small town of County Line. A public hearing on the dump is scheduled for June 13 at 6 p.m. at County Line Town Hall,according to a June 1 report by Mike McClanahan of WIAT-CBS 42 TV. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley recently signed a moratorium blocking new landfill permits. However, it isn’t clear if that moratorium will affect the County Line landfill, McClanahan says. To see his report—“Town Council won’t branch out from family tree”—visit ww.cbs42.com. According to press reports,Bentley’s moratorium applies to landfills acceptingmore than 1,500 tons of waste a day and which are500 or more acres in size. The County Line dump would be 219 acres. For additional background,check out an April 6 report by Ron Gholson at www.blountcountian.com .
WE’D GO DOWN TO THE RIVER: Check out the Friends of the Locust Fork River “Day on theRiver” environmental education event scheduled for June 18, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at King’s Bend on the Locust Fork River, north of Cleveland, Ala.,on Hwy. 79/231. The Friends provide what we’re told are “fun, learning-while-doing activities” for groups of kids that help them appreciate the river. There is no fee, and lunch is provided. For details, visit www.alabamarivers.org/events/specialevents .
CATCH AND RELEASE: The Alabama Nature Center will present its Fishing Weekend June 18 and 19. Enjoy catch and release fishing for catfishand bream in two ponds. The ANC is located in Millbrook, near Montgomery. All visitors must check in at the Pavilion Outpost located inside the Lanark Pavilion. For more information about the ANC or the Alabama Wildlife Federation, visitwww.alabamawildlife.org/alabama-nature-center .
PADDLE-PADDLE: The Alabama Scenic RiverTrail Paddling Clinic is scheduled for Lake Weissin Cherokee County, June 25-June 26. This event features clinics that will cover everything from the basics to advanced skills and rescue. Beginners are welcome. There will also be paddles conducted both days. Cost for two days is $85. For details, including information about food and camping,or to register online, go to www.alabamascenicrivertrail.com/events .
HEAT STROKE—IT AIN’T NO JOKE! Those helpful geeks at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer ways to avoid heatstroke:
* Drink plenty of fluids.
* Replace salt and minerals. Sports drinkscan help.
* Wear appropriate (i.e., lightweight, loosefitting)clothing, a sun hat and sunscreen (SPF 15or higher).
* Try to limit outdoor activity to morningand evening hours with rest breaks in shady areas.
* Pace yourself.
* Stay cool indoors.
* Use the buddy system.
Partner with afriend and watch each other (especially seniorcitizens) for signs of heat-related illness. Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature, which rises quickly without the ability to cool down. If emergency treatment is not provided, heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability. Symptoms include body temperature above 103 degrees; red, hot and dry skin without sweating; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and loss of consciousness. Call for medical help if you believe you are or another person is experiencing heat stroke. Don’t give the victim any fluids to drink, but try to cool them down. For much more, visit www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp .
Jesse Chambers is a Birmingham Weekly contributing writer. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.