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Jefferson County has a number of nature preserves that help to protect the rich biodiversity of our state and drive public environmental education. Today, this need is greater than ever, but finding adequate funding to support conservation as well as education about our natural world is a constant struggle.

With this in mind, Ruffner would like to draw your attention to our close partner and friend, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. They need our help.

Turkey Creek comprises 466 acres centered around the crystal clear waters of Turkey Creek. It supports several endangered, native species of wildlife, some found nowhere else on earth. Turkey Creek has a strong desire to broaden the reach of their educational programming—a plan that will not only enrich the lives of thousands of school-aged children in the area each year, but allow one of the most beloved areas in Jefferson County to become more financially sustainable. However, if they cannot fund their planned outdoor classroom to accommodate more school groups at the preserve, they will not be able to accomplish these goals.

At Ruffner, we understand how big of a role Turkey Creek plays in protecting the native flora and fauna of our area and how important their high-quality environmental educational programming is.  We know what a loss it will be if Turkey Creek is forced to close its gates forever.

For the next several weeks, Ruffner’s website will feature a link to support TCNP. Of course, this is only one of the many ways to give and support our friends at Turkey Creek.

Join us in supporting Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. It is a place worth protecting.

In 1990, Ruffner had approximately
30,000 annual visitors and over 1,000 members.

Today, Ruffner has approximately
100,000 visitors each year, but fewer than 500 members.

Ruffner is still free to enter after all these years – 40 to be exact –
because of member support.


Put simply, membership is like a use fee for all the things you have access to at Ruffner—14 miles of trails, public restrooms, educational programs, a parking lot, the Nature Center, and the Pavilion—all for free. To keep these in operation and open to everyone, we ask those that can afford it to please sign up for membership.

So, if you walk, hike, or run the trails, if you enjoy the panoramic vistas, if you love learning about the natural world, or simply like having a place to park and take a break from city life, now is the time to become a Ruffner member. Check out your options below...


Show your support wherever you go

Sign up for Membership and receive an exclusive Ruffner
Member Decal


Ruffner Mountain is a 1,040 acre urban nature preserve in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama providing science and nature education programming, 14 miles of trails, and a protected area for thousands of species of native flora and fauna. It is a site for Citizen Science programs and an array of scientist conducted research projects, including native bat and amphibian surveys, research into the causes of American Chestnut Blight, and groves of new-growth long leaf pine. Each year, through nature education and EcoArts programming, it impacts the lives of countless students and scores of schools and universities across the state.

Ruffner Mountain does not receive federal, state, or county funding. It does not have an endowment. Approximately 47% of its annual budget comes from donations. 

If you believe in our mission to advance the understanding of ecology in a rapidly changing world, support Ruffner with a gift today.

Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter and be the first to know about future volunteer opportunities!

Ruffner HICA Volunteers

Volunteers can join...

Join us as we expand our Habitat Demonstration Gardens. Learn more about the wildlife benefits of native plants while sharpening your gardening skills! Tasks include garden bed prep, planting, transplanting, weeding, and site cleanup. Habitat Garden Club meets every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in front of the Nature Center.

Help to build new trails and maintain those existing on the mountain. This opportunity is best for individual volunteers who are active and interested in physically demanding work and learning more about how to build the best hiking and walking trails possible.


You can also check the Calendar to find your next volunteer opportunity!