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The powers that be are preparing to build a bypass through one of the most delicate and unique ecosystems in Alabama- Hurricane Creek. Most citizens are either lukewarm or otherwise occupied. The Tuscaloosa tornado ravished the creek area and we are in the process of learning how this ecosystem will repair itself after a natural disaster.

Do we have any good models for how to do this?

Any particular researchers that would be interested in this?

Any CNN resources that could assist us in keeping this area for our children?

I am desperate to learn how to mount an effective campaign against this bypass in a manner that engages you as well as old. Please share any and every suggestion. Tell me what you've done. Or what you've seen others do. 

I've posted a few before and after photos so you can see the extent of the damage. I'm so afraid that the tornado damage will serve as an excuse to push the bypass through....

Tags: alabama, creek, education, environmental, grassroots, hurricane, protection, watershed

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We have only had one situation like this and we probably had somewhat of an advantage in our success because the space was adjacent to a school so we could make a strong link to the children/nature issue.  Wish I had better advice to give, but only know of two things to do:  1)  Check with knowledgable people (e.g. your local park district, a sympathetic state senator or representative, etc.) to find out who is the most powerful greenspace preservation group in your area and connect with them for advice on what works in your area; 2) Use your grassroots initiative to engage the  public - provide them with tools for an e-mail campaign to your local government (you'll need to make this turnkey to be successful) and to invite them to public council sessions.  We were not successful in getting a lot of people to come to public sessions, but the few who did come were powerful in their presentations.  Try to find people who are experts in a relevant area to testify about the significance of the property.  These are  probably things you've already thought of, but it's all I know to tell you.  Wish I had better news - these are tough.

Thanks Betsy. Very helpful. I'm making a list and checking it twice. :)

Betsy Townsend said:

We have only had one situation like this and we probably had somewhat of an advantage in our success because the space was adjacent to a school so we could make a strong link to the children/nature issue.  Wish I had better advice to give, but only know of two things to do:  1)  Check with knowledgable people (e.g. your local park district, a sympathetic state senator or representative, etc.) to find out who is the most powerful greenspace preservation group in your area and connect with them for advice on what works in your area; 2) Use your grassroots initiative to engage the  public - provide them with tools for an e-mail campaign to your local government (you'll need to make this turnkey to be successful) and to invite them to public council sessions.  We were not successful in getting a lot of people to come to public sessions, but the few who did come were powerful in their presentations.  Try to find people who are experts in a relevant area to testify about the significance of the property.  These are  probably things you've already thought of, but it's all I know to tell you.  Wish I had better news - these are tough.

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