Fresh Air Family

In search of nature, we find family.

Outdoor education program offering science camps (Gross Out Camp), school field trips, classroom programs and weekend family educational events.


Fresh Air fairies! And gnomes, elves, dryands, and more!

Sign up today for the magical Windows to Nature: Fairy Houses Workshop!

Date: Friday, July 19th
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Location: OMSP's Enchanted Garden (Oak Mountain Interpretive Center)

Join us for a workshop filled with fairy stories and “leave in the woods” natural fairy house building.
Building fairy houses gives children, ages 7-107, an opportunity to balance their play time away from the world of technology. A daily dose of nature will improve attention, focus and memory. Nature also has a healing power, improving children’s cognitive development. Creative play in nature nurtures language and collaborative skills, awareness, reasoning, and observational skills. Creative nature play helps to instill a sense of place and connectivity through observation.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Space is limited!

$20 per child ages 7-13 (includes park admission fee)
$5 per adult (park admission fee)
Contact Email: [email protected]
Contact Phone: 2056202520
Meeting Place: Oak Mountain Interpretive Center


I had 63 people at my storytelling program yesterday at the Homewood Library. Most of them were under the age of 5. That means there is a lot of crying, and not just me. Just kidding, we had a great time!


🎣🐟Greater Gadsden Area LOVES our youth ambassadors and future anglers! We have started a NEW program where we will be awarding a free certificate to those who catch their 🐟 1st Fish 🐟 in our Etowah County waters! We will be launching this program as we join the Coosa Riverkeepers at the free fishing clinic at City of Rainbow City Rainbow Landing on Tuesday, July 9th, where we will be handing out our new 1st Fish Certificates!


HAVE YOU SEEN A GIANT SALAMANDER? If ever a salamander was an unsung hero, it is the amphiuma. Reaching lengths of 4 feet, amphiumas are longer than any other amphibian in the Western Hemisphere.

Photo: Parker Gibbons holds an amphiuma, the longest salamander and one of the most unusual creatures in North America. Photo courtesy Mandy Johnson.

Nature Tails with Fresh Air Family 07/07/2024

Join me for storytelling at the Homewood Library tomorrow, July 8 at 10:30 am. Animal tales!

Nature Tails with Fresh Air Family (Preschool-Grade 1) Be a part of the storytelling experience with an interactive storytime with Miss Verna from Fresh Air Family.


Hay especies que tienen una magia innata, no sólo por su belleza cromática sino también por el aura espiritual que les envuelve. "Atelopus arsyecue", Gowna en la cultura arhuaca, un ser asociado a la fertilidad de la vida junto al poder del agua, indicador del equilibrio natural en la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Una rana que el equipo de , y investiga con el fin de proteger su perpetuidad en este mundo.
There are species that have innate magic, not only because of their chromatic beauty but also because of the spiritual aura that surrounds them. "Atelopus arsyecue", Gowna in the Arhuaco culture, a being associated with the fertility of life along with the power of water, an indicator of natural balance in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. A frog that the team, and investigate in order to protect its perpetuity in this world.


See it while you can!


Alabama’s waterways have some of the highest biodiversity of species in the country! We live in a special place and we should do everything we can to protect our natural resources.

Photos from Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge's post 06/29/2024
Photos from Alabama State Parks Division's post 06/23/2024

HELP! Why is my tree dying? Is this related to drought? 😩

Short answer: There is no reason to fear! Your tree is not dying! 😅

Long answer: This innocuous damage is the result of female periodical cicadas cutting into small branch tips. This is done so the female cicadas are able to lay their eggs within the branches. The damage is not life threatening! Trees like this oak have been living with periodical cicadas for thousands of years.

Follow this link to learn more about cicadas:


Come play in the forest with Wild Alabama and Renee!

As she weaves her storytelling and building of Fairy Houses, Renee Simmons Raney creates a magical world for children and adults. You can join the festivities at Lake Chinnabee near Cheaha State Park in the Talladega National Forest. Register at
Thank you Renee for bringing magic to our Wild Alabama world!


You can play a role in wildlife conservation, especially for pollinators! Many pollinators, like this monarch caterpillar, can benefit from small green spaces with native plants like milkweed.

📷 Courtney Celley/USFWS


black vulture edition! Our black vulture arrived at camp in 2017 after being cared for by the Alabama Wildlife Center located in Oak Mountain State Park. He is a human imprint which means it was taken as a baby and raised by people. Details are fuzzy about its finding but the report is a falconer discovered it in someone’s basement and brought it to AWC in spring 2017. As an imprint, this bird relies on humans for social interaction and food, which would make it unsafe for him to live on his own in the wild.

Paddle for a good cause at the Dragon Boat Race and Festival, Aug. 17—register your team now | Bham Now 06/20/2024

Paddle for a good cause at the Dragon Boat Race and Festival, Aug. 17—register your team now | Bham Now 🐲The 4th Annual Dragon Boat Race + Festival is paddling our way on Aug. 17. Here's a look at the festival + how YOU can register a team for the races. NowPartner PI


Salamanders LOVE Cheaha’s ephemeral creeks! What’s an ephemeral creek? What exactly IS a salamander and where do they go in the winter? All these questions and more will be answered at our Salamander Stroll on Saturday, June 22. Come sala-meander down in the creek with us and look for fun critters!

Register here:


There will be a living with bears seminar at the Saraland Civic Center on June 25 and one at DeSoto State Park on June 27. Both begin at 6 p.m. During the seminars you’ll learn about the history of black bears in the state, bear behavior, and BearWise basics for living in an area that has a population of bears.

Learn more at:

Photo by Garry Tucker, USFWS


Thursday, February 8, 2024, 10am- noon

Forest Spirit Walk with Renee Raney, Environmental Education Asdociation of AL Board member, Girls Who Hike Alabama Advisor, Wild Alabama Board member, and Alabama State Park Chief Interpreter
Pine Glen Recreation Area: Pinhoti Trail

We will celebrate the winter woods with a slow and mindful spirit walk—to commune and connect with the living earth, taking in the natural world around us with all our senses, including our sixth sense, and allowing nature to lead the way.
We will begin our journey by setting our intentions, attuning ourselves and our minds to receptivity, and being open to the voices of the forest. February is a perfect “bare and cold” month to seek balance and communion with the natural world and see what messages or insights it has for us on the journey ahead. There will be time for solitude and silence, as well as opportunities to share your personal connections with nature.

Please be sure to register on our events page…

Begin 2024 with a First Day Hike at an Alabama State Park | Outdoor Alabama 12/30/2023

Take a First Day Hike with Alabama State Parks! Bring your friends, family, and "BARK" rangers. All First Day Hikes are free with paid park admission. Guided by Alabama's exceptional Park Interpreters, part of America's State Parks initiative, and concurrent with thousands of other hikes happening on public lands across 50 states, there will be a hike for everyone! Sunrise hikes, Highest Point Hikes, Champion Tree Hikes, BARK Ranger Hikes, Canyon Hikes, Heritage Hikes, Accessible Hikes, Beach Hikes, Sunset Hikes and more! Also, each hiker will receive a special commemorative sticker.

Begin 2024 with a First Day Hike at an Alabama State Park | Outdoor Alabama Official Web Site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Still time to give! Camps Open Up, We're Hiring! 12/28/2023

Happy New Year! We hope to see you in 2024! There is still time to make your year-end donation to keep Fresh Air Family on the trail! Camp registration opens tomorrow at noon -- grab your camp spots now! We're hiring -- are you a teacher, a naturalist or a lover of science? Or, do you have a teenager who needs a summer job? We have openings across the state! More at

Still time to give! Camps Open Up, We're Hiring! 8:30am – 12pm: Trail Build: Green Mountain, Land Trust of North Alabama: Green Mountain Nature Preserve Alum Hollow Trailhead, Huntsville

Photos from Fresh Air Family's post 12/21/2023

Last Call for Fresh Air Family's Annual Fundraiser

Don't miss the season's funniest event!

Tickets for the Wacky Tacky Light Tour Are Still Available

Buses run from 6 pm to 7:30 pm

Reserve your seats on our two-hour tour today!

Special thanks to our sponsors and partners:


And Atomic Pictures

Last Call Wacky Tacky Tour! Merry Ho! Ho! Ho! 12/21/2023

Last call for the Wacky Tacky Light Tour! Join us tonight -- we still have open seats on our buses. More at Make your year-end tax-deductible contribution to Fresh Air Family and support our programs. -- Merry Ho Ho Ho and Happy New Year!

Last Call Wacky Tacky Tour! Merry Ho! Ho! Ho! Please help Fresh Air Family continue to serve you -- please make your year-end, tax-deductible gift to support our camps, our scholarships, our events and this newsletter!


Don't miss Eagle Awareness Weekends at Lake Guntersville State Park!

Eagle Awareness Weekends feature live bird demonstrations and programs provided by notable speakers, guided safaris for viewing eagles in their natural habitat, and the natural beauty of the mountains and Lake Guntersville. Each year we welcome hundreds of guests to experience and learn about the natural history of these majestic eagles, other birds of prey, and wild creatures.

Exclusive opportunities are offered each year during Eagle Awareness weekends through our packages, which include lodging, two breakfasts, and one dinner, a welcome packet, VIP access to presentations, discounts at the restaurant and gift shop, photo opportunities with birds of prey, engagement with featured sponsors, one-on-one access with the naturalists, and memories that last for a lifetime.

The park’s Pinecrest Dining Room serves delicious meals and whether you stay in a lodge room, chalet, or in the campground, the amenities are excellent. It's no wonder that these weekends are the perfect gift for the one that has "everything". These weekends fill quickly so we encourage you to reserve your package as soon as possible by calling 256-571-5440.

For Lodge Reservations, please call: 256-571-5440

For Campground Reservations, please call: 256-571-5455 or

For Campground Reservations Only: Eagle Awareness Packages can be added onto your stay during any of our Eagle Awareness Weekends for $110 per person. Please call the lodge to book your package!

Day passes will be sold for each Saturday of our Eagle Awareness Weekends, these will include the guided tours to the eagle nests & live bird programs ONLY!

The amount of day passes will vary depending on each weekend, and will be sold first come, first serve on each Saturday morning.

Adults: $25

Kids Under 12: $10


LAST CALL!! Thursday, December 21, is the last night of Wacky Tacky Light Tour in 2023! We still have tickets available for purchase at\wacky-tacky

Special thanks to our sponsors and partners:


And Atomic Pictures


I have seen some serious tacky in my 12 years of Wacky Tacky Light Tours -- but we have a winner! Top tacky award goes to...
Have you made your reservations yet? Thursday is the last day!

Want your organization to be the top-listed Non Profit Organization in Birmingham?
Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

Videos (show all)

We are ready for wacky tacky fun! Dec. 12, 14, 19 and 21. Join us! Tickets at
Congrats to Charles Rose, our North Alabama coordinator. He was spectacular playing trombone with Lyle Lovett last night...
We had a great time at Gross Out Day at Oak Mountain State Park! We met animals, played Turtle Takeover, went on a wildf...
Learn more about Gross Out Camp from our Executive Director Verna Gates on Talk of Alabama!
Join us July 10 at the bat cave -- Sauta Cave, the largest emergence of bats east of the Mississippi. Those shadows are ...
One of our older Gross Out Campers very sweetly tossing a ball to our littlest. Enjoying some free time before pick up. ...
Dancing Children Wacky Tacky 2018


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