Cahaba Environmental Center at Living River
Location: Montevallo, Alabama
About the Cahaba Environmental Center
The Cahaba Environmental Center (CEC) is a new environmental education organization managed by McDowell Environmental Center. The CEC is located on the property of Living River: A Retreat on the Cahaba, outside of Montevallo in Bibb and Shelby Counties. The site is a breathtaking tree-covered point nestled in a deep bend in the Cahaba River, preserving a mix of hardwoods and older trees that were once typical of Alabama’s river bottoms but elsewhere have been logged and replaced with faster-growing pines. The Cahaba River provides habitat for an impressive diversity of aquatic species, is one of Birmingham’s drinking water sources, and has become a hot spot for recreational activities. Because of our unique location, we front over 4 miles of the river to canoe and explore.
The Cahaba Environmental Center is in its first year of providing environmental education programming! In our residential environmental education program, school groups spend 3-5 days exploring the natural and cultural history of Alabama. Our curriculum is based in place, student-centered, hands-on, and follows inquiry-based and holistic approaches. Currently our programs are aligned to Alabama standards for grades 4-8, but we will be expanding our curriculum to include high school standards in 2016. In addition to our residential environmental education program, the Cahaba Environmental Center also hosts a field science school for university and college professors to teach and participate in field research with their students. We also offer a young women’s backpacking and leadership program called Sole Sisters.
For more information on our programs, please check out our website at www.cahabaec.org
Summary of Position
A CEC environmental educator facilitates a variety of cultural history, environmental science, and community building activities with learners of varied ages, learning styles, and abilities. Our curriculum covers ecological concepts, watershed sciences, Native American cultures, geologic processes, coal mining, and evening programs such as campfires, night hikes, and town hall debates. An educator leads one field group of 10-13 students throughout a school’s entire visit. This provides a chance for the educator to develop meaningful relationships with their students and tailor their lessons to best meet the interests and needs of the group. During Spring 2016, our second season, there are plenty of opportunities for staff to take on personal projects to expand their experiences in trail building, creating teaching materials, meeting with teachers, and a variety of other skills. Educators may also have opportunities to work with the field science school and Sole Sisters programs. All positions are seasonal at this time.