Alabama Audubon has announced plans to host a first-of-its-kind event, a festival celebrating the birds of the Black Belt, on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Greensboro.
Highlighting the birds, history and culture of Alabama’s Black Belt region, the first Black Belt Birding Festival is the newest public offering from the storied conservation nonprofit’s Black Belt Birding Initiative, a program aimed at bringing the economic benefits of ecotourism to this stretch of rural Alabama.
“This region is a historic touchstone for the entire country,” says Audubon’s Black Belt coordinator Meg Ford. “The Civil Rights victories that took place here are widely celebrated, but the area’s unique ecology and fascinating bird populations are still a bit of a secret. This festival marks a big step toward changing that.”
The festival will feature field trips to experience the diverse habitats and birds of Hale and Perry County; indoor programs highlighting Black Belt culture and history; a vendor expo for local businesses, nonprofits, and makers; and much more.
Christopher Joe, owner of the nationally recognized ecotourism company Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours LLC, will offer birding tours throughout the day, and attendees will receive a keynote address from naturalist, poet and professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University J. Drew Lanham.
Founded in 1946 as the Birmingham Audubon Society, Alabama Audubon has since grown to become the state’s leading nonprofit promoting conservation and a greater knowledge of birds, their habitats and the natural world.
Alabama Audubon’s Black Belt Birding Initiative works to bring the economic and environmental benefits of bird-based ecotourism to one of the country’s most economically challenged rural areas.