Wednesday, May 22, 2024



What the heck makes ANYONE think this is OK?

This is disgusting and quite unnecessary. 

What were they thinking?
Fossils, millions of years old, painted over
Does anyone really think painting nonsense on rock faces, millions of years old is a good idea? In fact, what part of defacing any rock formation is acceptable? This is in a public park and was at one time the most beautiful sections of trail in the entire 250 acre park. It is now just an eyesore and reminder of how a handful of irresponsible, immature people can mess it up for everyone! 

This destruction takes away the ability to use the area for teaching biology or geology. Who wants to take a class out and have to deal with this? 

Same location as above, 2013

Another aspect of this behavior is what is does to the natural moss, ferns, and Lichens . Lichens have three shapes or growth forms, and they can live a very long time — some are over 1,000 years old. The problem is not getting better. In fact it is worse than ever. Here's a few photos tp show the progression of bad behavior left unchecked. In 2013 when the Eagle Scouts first developed the low impact trail system the rocks were only covered in vegetation and Lichens. Fast forward to 2017 below


And then today, 2024

Nothing about this is ok! I don't understand why is it being allowed at this park and not the other PARA controlled parks? Some of the "art" took a lot of time and paint. Someone either saw or knows something about who is doing this. It is obviously getting worse. Feel free to contact PARA and or me with information and it will be kept confidential.

This park belongs to Tuscaloosa PARA and it is ultimately their responsibility to patrol and keep vandals from ruining what has been unmolested for millions of years. I have watched over the last several years and seen many of the rangers drive around the circle and leave without ever exiting the car or truck. This is a 250 acre park which can't be adequately patrolled in 30 seconds from the seat of a truck. PARA has a new director who is trying to initiate some stricter patrol measures but it seems to be taking a while. Meanwhile the graffiti gets worse.

There is only one sign in the entire park with a phone # to call and "Direct Problems or Concerns to PARA" The problem is no-one answers after office hours or on weekends or so it was the last time I tried to call. Whoever answers, probably can't help you, they can only direct you to someone else. 

If you are in trouble or see trouble happen, that number isn't much help. You probably need help now. I believe you will get a better response if you use the number below.

Here's a number to call 205-361-2253 for the park on Hurricane Creek. This will take you to the ranger on duty who should respond if you see someone defacing the bluffs or any other type vandalism. We, the users of the park are the best eyes out there. Don't let some selfish, irresponsible person mess the park up for the rest of us.

Someone knows or saw who is responsible for the graffiti. Please help us stop this desecration by reporting anyone you see doing it. Spray cans of paint have no business in the park. If you see someone heading into the woods and a rattle can of paint, report it! If yo see someone defacing the rocks, don't confront them, take pictures and report them.

Dr. E. O. Wilson explains why places like Hurricane Creek need to be preserved.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Hurricane Creek After Dark

 Hurricane Creek After Dark

Flow Tuscaloosa turned Hurricane Creek Park into a virtual light-show

Hurricane Creek after dark with Flow Tuscaloosa

Hurricane Creek park at Hwy 216
Once again Jamie Grimes and Flow Tuscaloosa have outdone themselves. On May 11 2024 Flow Tuscaloosa decorated the Hurricane Creek banks with a spectacular show of lights which highlighted the trees and gave a wonderful accent to the rocks and water.

This reproduction of a Mountain Laurel bush was Spot On!

The event started before dark with a lantern workshop for people to build their own lanterns to walk the trails with. One of these little girls said it was like walking through a fairy-land.

Setting up on the rocks gave the banks on both sides plenty of light. I was amazed at the rock formations on the other side of the creek and how bright they looked. 

Once it was completely dark, the creek really started to shine. What a great way to spend an evening, in one of the most special places on earth. Please consider supporting organizations like Flow Tuscaloosa and Friends of Hurricane Creek if you want tosee more of these events.

Your Hurricane Creekkeeper, creekside. (Photo, Julia Brock)
I tell folks all the time that I speak creek better on the creek bank. This event was especially powerful for me. Not only were the rocks setting a backdrop like nothing I have spoken in front of but at the end of my talk, almost at the last words, the Spacelink train passed overhead! How the heck can ever top that?

Check out the video below for a birds eye view.

Big shout-out to Jamie Grimes and the entire Flow Tuscaloosa crew for all the hard work! Kudos my friends! This one was a home run. 

The photos below are before dark and leading up to sunset. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Hurricane Creek Cleanup 24

 Hurricane Creek Cleanup 24

is only 3 days away!

join us for the annual Hurricane Creek Cleanup this Saturday, Apr 20 for a fun day on one of Tuscaloosa's Crown Jewels, Hurricane Creek.

We've been doing this for 32 years and have the distinct honor of being the longest consecutive, rain or shine cleanups in Alabama. 

There is a slight chance for isolated showers but that only makes it cooler. We will open the gate around 08:15 and start registration for the event. If you'd like to participate in the paddle trip you must show up around 08:30 for sign up and safety briefing. I can't stress enough how beautiful the creek is right now.

There is a lot going on around town that day including several cleanups. Please consider coming to the creek even if it's for a short time. I will have free tickets to the Debbie Bond Blues Band performance at Druid City Brewing set for Monday, Earth day. Debbie and her crew are fresh home from a tour in Europe. Come out and help us welcome her home to Druid City. The first 50 people at the event and want one will get one tickets in appreciation for your help!

This was last year. Let's do it again. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Hurricane Creek Cleanup 24

 Mark your calendar!

Hurricane Creek Cleanup 24

April 20, 2024

I can't believe it's that time of year again but boy howdy am I glad. The Friends of Hurricane Creek have been putting on this cleanup for 32 years consecutivly. It is the longest running public cleanup in Alabama and this year is going to be another winner.

The Creek is in Full Bloom!

Of all of the wildflowers we have on Hurricane Creek, this one has to be my favorite. The Alabama Azalea is a white flower with one yellow tongue making it stand out when seen. 


This subspecies of Azalea grows in the higher elevations in woodland cover. Like my front yard. This is what I see every morning from my kitchen.

They come in several colors and can be found all over the creek.

After the Azaleas comes the Mountain Laurel. These beauties stretch from here all the way up to the Pennsylvania streams. We are so fortunate to have all of this here at our disposal

With that said, I am predicting one of the prettiest cleanups in recent memory! All of these and many others will be in full bloom and on display for those who can join us.

The family-friendly outdoor event is open to people of all ages, although guests under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All volunteers are welcome to join for any duration of the cleanup. Volunteers will pick up trash in the Hurricane Creek watershed starting at 9 AM and hamburgers and hot dogs will be served starting at 12 PM. An optional canoe-based component of the cleanup will depart at 8:30AM, and the rest of the volunteers will remove litter from land near the creek. 

Come see us here.

Friday, February 2, 2024



Please read this article and consider adding your name to our petition demanding action to deter and or eliminate most of the chronic sewage overflows within the entire Tuscaloosa sewer collection system and the Fletcher treatment plant. 

Many people living in Tuscaloosa for any length of time have heard the Friends of Hurricane Creek complain and point out the failures seen in the collection system throughout the Hurricane Creek watershed. Black Warrior Riverkeeper has been doing the same about the systemic failures throughout the rest of the city. 

It is not something new. I have documented many of these problems since 2004. I can say that there have been significant improvements since then in some areas due to our complaints while others still exist and have for many years. Cottondale Creek has been hammered with so many overflows and elevated bacteria levels that EPA stepped in and issued an order requiring an 89% reduction in pathogens and still the city is losing hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage. 

 EPA stepped in and ordered a Total Maximum Daily Load Assessment (TMDL) for the entire Cottondale Creek drainage to evaluate whether sewage pollutants should be limited in the creek to restore water quality. The TMDL issued by ADEM in August 2022 calls for a 89% reduction for pathogens in Cottondale Creek. Since the TMDL was issued the city sewer department has discharged over 250,000gallons of raw sewage into Cottondale Creek and still counting. This must stop!

One of the fall-back excuses the city likes to use is "It rained a a lot so our sewer overflowed" (paraphrase). This will work on a lot of people but what they should be aware of is this. Tuscaloosa operates a closed system. It is independent from the stormwater drainages. Therefore if enough rainwater enters the system there are some real problems with the collection system itself. Many things can affect it but I feel like most of it is negligent lack of maintenance or deferred maintenance.

Take a look at a few of the Right of Way (ROW) photos I have taken over time. I consistently find open, damaged manhole covers and exposed sections of sewer lines, in some cases right in the floodway of the creek. Lift stations are consistently left open to rain and storm events. Many of the manholes are built lower than normal water flow during rain events. Large holes in riser pipes buried underground also allow storm water intrusion. 

It's easy to see where the intrusion is occurring and equally as easy it should be for a well operating sewer department to address BEFORE disasters strike. I often see mature trees growing over manholes and congested ROWs which make reaching overflows much more difficult.

There is something we can all do. 
Please sign the linked petition demanding City leaders to take necessary steps to remedy these historic failures. 

If you want to know more about what actually happens at the sewer department, don't take their word for it. In fact you don't have to take my word for it. Go to the ADEM E-File site and look at the record for yourself. Every citizen in the state has the right to view the records. It is mandated by law that Tuscaloosa must send timely reports. Check out the video above and learn how to get access. Remember to type the permit # in exactly as it is written here.