Tag Archives: Ruffner Mountain

Ruffner Mountain gets a new director, conducts online survey

stanwebTucked into Weld publisher Mark Kelly’s Red Dirt column this week was a nugget to which few people paid a great deal of attention – the naming of a new executive director for the 1,000+ acre nature preserve located on the city’s east side. A visit to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve’s website (specifically the page listing its staff) shows Stan Palla listed as holding the position. Palla has previously served as the executive director of Alabama Bicycle Coalition.

Kimberly Jeanty, who served as the organization’s interim executive director since last fall, remains on staff as its director of marketing and development. The hire ends a search that started when Robbie Fearn left to become the director of the Pine Island Sanctuary and Center in Corolla, North Carolina.

Ruffner Mountain has also made a simple three-question survey available online via SurveyMonkey, using it as an opportunity to announce Palla’s hire via their fan page on Facebook on July 31.

Photo: via AlaBike.org.

Ruffner Treetop Visitors Center earns LEED Gold

New Ruffner LogoRuffner Mountain Nature Preserve recently learned that their Treetop Visitors Center had earned LEED Gold status. The $4 million building is one of only five new construction projects in the state to ever receive that designation as part of the environmentally friendly certification system. A glass plaque is being sent to the facility in recognition of the achievement. The new center opened last spring.

The organization is in the process of changing its name from center to preserve to reflect their focus on conservation. They’ve also begun to use a new logo (that’s it off to the left if you’re reading this via the site) and have plans to roll out a redesigned website in the coming months.

Incidentally, the current fiscal 2012 city budget does not provide any funding for Ruffner Mountain. The organization is under contract with the city to manage 500 of the 1,011 acres of land contained within.

Ruffner Mountain to close (but only temporarily)

You’ve got one more weekend before Ruffner Mountain Nature Center closes its facilities temporarily to complete construction of their new Tree Top Visitors Center. They made the announcement via a press release earlier today that it will be closed beginning next week Monday, May 4, through June 15 so that the existing structure can be demolished and so that the parking lot can be resurfaced. According to reports, the trails will be reopened after June 15, though the new building will open late summer/early fall, the first of the three Parknership projects to be completed. However, construction has been well underway for some time.

I actually serve as the vice president for the center’s board of directors and was photographed in front of the new building on the day that windows were being installed for Birmingham Magazine‘s March edition. You may want to head over there this weekend and see how much has already been completed – albeit from a distance…

Random Shots: What a difference a week makes

Bob Farley/f8Photo

As Birmingham wakes up to the start of Daylight Savings Time and hints at temperatures getting close to 80°, we thought we’d share a few images from last week’s snowfall.

Bob Farley headed out to Ruffner Mountain Nature Center shortly after the 3″ had finished accumulating, giving us this photo set over in The Gallery.


The dirt’s moving at Ruffner

New beginnings at Ruffner
Photo: New beginnings at Ruffner. acnatta/Flickr

Progress on Birmingham’s Park-nership, one of the larger initiatives undertaken by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, always seems to be sought after, so I figured it would make sense to post this image. It’s the view looking through where Ruffner Mountain‘s pavillion once stood out to the site of the nature center’s new visitors center, currently scheduled for a May 2009 completion.

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Fireworks fall on Birmingham

Fireworks from Ruffner Mountain - Bob Farley/f8Photo

Bob Farley/f8Photo

The brief rain shower did not keep about a dozen people from watching the fireworks from the quarry overlook at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center Friday night. Not only did the fireworks from Vulcan prove to be entertaining but the Gate City and South East Lake neighborhoods put on a fine show as well.

If you’ve got any photos, send them on in

“Wet and Wonderful” Wetland Tour, Ruffner Mountain

Here’s your chance to go on a special guided tour of the newly restored Ruffner Wetland. Space is limited so advance reservations are required. We will meet at the Visitor Center and carpool to the wetland where you will learn about wetland ecosystems and have an opportunity to tour the ADA-accessible trail and view the plants and wildlife. Refreshments will be provided. Call 833-8264 for more information.

Cost: $10/$8 for members
Ruffner Mountain Nature Center
1214 81st St. South (directions)