New Teaching Naturalists & Field Trips

We are excited to introduce our new Teaching Naturalists - Jessica, Stella, and Stephanie, who will be working alongside Ruffner’s longtime Naturalist, Carl.

With school back in session, new staff have been reviewing lesson plans ranging from forest ecosystems to mining history as well as participating in our animal ambassador program training. All field trips include a guided, interactive hike, a visit to the Nature Center, and a meet and greet with one of our native animals.

With school back in session, new staff have been reviewing lesson plans ranging from forest ecosystems to mining history as well as participating in our animal ambassador program training. All field trips include a guided, interactive hike, a visit to the Nature Center, and a meet and greet with one of our native animals.

Staff review the native snakes on exhibit, including the copperhead. The public can stop by our Nature Center during office hours to learn the differences between our venomous and non-venomous snakes on exhibit by observing their patterns. Say ‘hello’ to the corn snake, who is often mistaken for the copperhead.

Staff review the native snakes on exhibit, including the copperhead. The public can stop by our Nature Center during office hours to learn the differences between our venomous and non-venomous snakes on exhibit by observing their patterns. Say ‘hello’ to the corn snake, who is often mistaken for the copperhead.

On September 26th and 27th, third graders visited Trillium Trail on a fall field trip. If you are interested in booking a field trip, please complete our form  here  to start the scheduling process. Those schools that qualify can also request an application for a field trip scholarship for funding assistance.

On September 26th and 27th, third graders visited Trillium Trail on a fall field trip. If you are interested in booking a field trip, please complete our form here to start the scheduling process. Those schools that qualify can also request an application for a field trip scholarship for funding assistance.

Back to Nature Book Events

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This book is such a big deal, we need two events!

Please join us for the official Back to Nature book launch at Alabama Booksmith on Wednesday, September 4 at 5:00 pm, and a book signing at Ruffner Mountain on Thursday, September 19 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Author Mark Kelly and photographer Bob Farley will be at both events to sign copies of the book! Copies will be available for purchase at the event.

Don't have your copy of the book yet? You can purchase a copy here, at Ruffner Mountain’s Nature Center, or visit the following locations:

  • Alabama Booksmith

  • SHOPPE

  • Church Street Coffee & Books

  • Little Professor Books

  • Alabama Outdoors

  • The Anvil gift shop at Vulcan Park and Museum

  • Leaf & Petal

    Hope to see you there!

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Habitat Garden Club - Pollinators

From Habitat Garden Club host, Michelle Reynolds:

Habitat Garden Club meets every Tuesday from 8 am until 11 am at the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center and is not just about working and weeding in the gardens. It is about discovery of new things. We like to take the time to notice the buzzing insects around us. We take pictures, post them to iNaturalist for identification, and we’re constantly learning about the nature that surrounds us.

Rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium) provides a pretty backdrop to this busy bumblebee as it visited many flowers, packing its pollen baskets and transferring pollen from flower to flower throughout the day.

Rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium) provides a pretty backdrop to this busy bumblebee as it visited many flowers, packing its pollen baskets and transferring pollen from flower to flower throughout the day.

Uroleucon aphids siphon sweet juices from stems of tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), the carpenter ant crawled around them and drank their sugary excretions (honeydew). Yes, it is a little bit gross but mostly cool.

Uroleucon aphids siphon sweet juices from stems of tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), the carpenter ant crawled around them and drank their sugary excretions (honeydew). Yes, it is a little bit gross but mostly cool.

Back to Nature

Ruffner Book Promo

Back to Nature by Mark Kelly is the “Ruffner book” whispered about for years, and now available for purchase!

In vivid prose, Kelly relates the history of Ruffner Mountain—it’s missteps and setbacks—a story that, in many ways, mirrors the story of Birmingham. Giving this incredible narrative life are the photos of Bob Farley and together they beautifully illustrate Ruffner Mountain Nature Coalition’s 40 years of existence and the mountain’s journey back to nature.

To order Back to Nature, visit our store’s website , or visit Alabama Booksmith and Ruffner Mountain on specific dates in September to get a signed copy - details of which can be found on our events calendar for September.