The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development
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Cahaba Blueway access point dedicated
A small crowd arrived at the dedication where Cahaba Blueway Coordinator Brian Rushing explained the Cahaba Blueway mission.
Cahaba River to become more accessible through new program
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and its partners at the Cahaba Riverkeeper, Cahaba River Society, The Nature Conservancy of Alabama, the Freshwater Land Trust are overseeing the project.
Elam Holley, Sr. Park receives new sign
Over the past few years, The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED) has been improving access points along the Cahaba River as part of their Cahaba Blueway initiative.
Program Seeks to Improve Access to Cahaba River
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, or UACED, along with its program partners at the Cahaba River Society, The Nature Conservancy of Alabama, the Freshwater Land Trust, and the Cahaba Riverkeeper, announce the official start of the Cahaba Blueway, a 200 mile-long “water trail” through the heart of Alabama.
100 Alabama Miles Challenge Inspires Alabamians to Get Outside
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED) and its partner organizations announce the kick-off of the 2019 season of the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge on March 2, 2019.
LEND A HAND: Campaign collects books for students in Black Belt
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development is in the middle of its 14th Books for the Alabama Black Belt drive.
Enhancing Alabama Bird Watching through Fiberglass Embedded (FE) Signs
Due to its geographical location, Alabama is an attractive location for bird watchers to visit. The state is a haven for many resident birds found only in the Southeastern U.S., plus serves as a significant flyway for birds traveling from South and Central America all the way to the Arctic Circle
Project could make Cahaba River a national destination
Cahaba Medical Care worked close with the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development during this process. Director of Economic Development Initiatives for UACED, Brian Rushing, said Centreville has needed access to the Cahaba River for some time.
State's new mega-hotel ready to weather storms that may come
The new Lodge was among the first major construction projects announced in Alabama that would be financed by BP’s compensation for its 2010 Gulf oil spill.
Alabama opens new ‘crown jewel’ and ‘cozy’ beachside hotel and convention center
The project was financed largely by Alabama’s earliest settlements from the BP oil spill through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process.
First look at The Lodge at Gulf State Park opening in November
The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel is in the final stages of construction in Gulf Shores. Here is a first look inside the highly anticipated hotel at Gulf State Park. The Lodge offers 350 rooms and suites, 290 of which with have balconies overlooking either the gulf or Lake Shelby.
The Gulf State Park Interpretive Center: A Southern Success Story
The development team was led by the University of Alabama’s Center for Economic Development (UACED). Major responsibilities included defining the overarching goals for the Enhancement Project, assembling the delivery team, and managing that team to an on-time and in-budget delivery. UACED represented the project’s owners, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Alabama Communities of Excellence develops a path to improve walkability in towns
“The significance of planning is that you will establish the key locations that need an intervention, it will help you prioritize investments and it will provide a cost estimate for the work,” said Nisa Miranda, director of the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development. “Without a plan, the community is not in a position to provide any details for a grant application.”
Smith Mountain added to birding trail
Being placed on the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail will bring even more people to visit the area. It is none too soon for birding enthusiasts like Joe Watts with the Alabama Birding Trail and the Birmingham Audubon Society as Smith Mountain joins the rank of other fire towers in the state.
The Bicentennial Bookshelf coming to Dallas County
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED), The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) are joining forces for their Bicentennial Bookshelf program.
Alabama Birding Trails are a major tourist attraction
Joe Watts, a consultant with The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, said the state's system of trails was completed in 2013 and offers birders a variety of habitats and opportunities for seeing unique species throughout the year.
Minooka Park joins Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail
Minooka Park is the newest member of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail ... According to Joanne Ninesling, with Alabama Birding Trails.
Gulf Shores is an Alabama Community of Excellence adjusting to shifting sands for growth
In 2014, with assistance from the Alabama Communities of Excellence program, the city adopted the Vision 2025 plan, which identified areas of focus for “the growth of Gulf Shores.”
1 river in Alabama has more species of freshwater fish than all of California
The Cahaba is increasingly becoming an economic force in addition to a biological marvel. Riverfront parks and canoe and kayak launches along the Cahaba are springing up like frozen yogurt bars, as Birmingham-area communities invest millions in making their riverfronts vibrant attractions.
100 Alabama Miles kicks off in Red Bay
Statewide, the program is a partnership between The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, Alabama Trails Commission, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Lakeshore Foundation, Alabama Beverage Association, Jefferson County Department of Health, Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports, AARP, Alabama Obesity Task Force, Alabama Department of Public Health and Alabama State Parks.
A look into the Cahaba River and what it will take to conserve it
The University of Alabama's Center for Economic Development (CED) is set to formally launch a project this year called the Cahaba Blueway to increase public access to the river. The CED has identified 30 potential canoe or kayak launch points along the river to create a trail, with access points every eight to 10 miles.
Alabamians encouraged to get outside for 100 Miles Challenge
The challenge is a free public program, designed to encourage all Alabamians to walk, run, hike, bike, swim, paddle, ride or roll 100 miles each year, and to enjoy visiting Alabama’s state parks, nature preserves and rivers, according to Brian Rushing, the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development’s project facilitator.
ACE Designates Geneva as an “Alabama Community of Excellence”
Geneva, Alabama earned the designation of an “Alabama Community of Excellence” Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Opening Session of the Alabama League of Municipalities Annual Convention, held in Montgomery, AL.
Wind Creek set for statewide walking effort
Wind Creek State Park has partnered with the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge to help get Alabamians out and moving.
100 Alabama Miles Challenge encourages people to be active, explore state’s natural beauty
The 100 Alabama Miles Challenge is being spearheaded by the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED) with support from numerous organizations, including the Alabama Trails Commission, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama, Lakeshore Foundation, the Alabama Beverage Association, AARP, Jefferson County Department of Health, Alabama Department of Public Health, the Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the Alabama Obesity Task Force.
Noah Galloway leads 100-mile challenge to explore Alabama the beautiful
This new program -- developed by several public and private organizations -- asks participants to log two miles each week while visiting Alabama parks, rivers, trails and nature preserves. That way, they can experience the beauty of the state, boost their fitness and reach a milestone of 100 miles over the course of a year.
LEND A HAND: Event challenges Alabamians to get active
A new statewide public program presented by the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and other partnering organizations, the challenge officially starts Saturday with kick-off events planned around the state.
#100ALMiles: Initiative promotes recreational tourism, encourages fitness
A new statewide economic development initiative is encouraging Alabamians to make use of the numerous parks, nature preserves and rivers in the state, and get fit in the process.
The 100 Alabama Miles Challenge is presented by the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED) along with other partnering organizations.
Foley uses its location to become an Alabama Communities of Excellence destination
With assistance from the Alabama Communities of Excellence program, much of Foley’s current momentum began in the years leading up to the city’s centennial celebration in 2015. ACE worked with Foley officials to help identify the city’s strengths and weaknesses, and develop a comprehensive plan designed to spur economic development and community enhancement.
100 Alabama Miles Challenge Seeks to Get Residents Outside
A new statewide public program presented by The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and partnering organizations, the Challenge officially starts Saturday, May 12 with kick-off events in several cities and towns throughout the state and at all 17 Alabama State Parks.
Chelsea receives update on Alabama Communities of Excellence progress
“This is really good timing for Chelsea to be involved in this. You’ve got good leadership. It amazes me how many people in the community are involved in making a difference,” said Nisa Miranda, the director of the University of Alabama’s Center for Economic Development and a member of Chelsea’s ACE team.
Alabama’s trails offer an abundance of bird-watching locations
This project is a collaborative effort by the Alabama Tourism Department, University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Birmingham Audubon Society, chambers of commerce across the state, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Forest Service and others.
Moss Rock Preserve and Shades Creek Greenway added to the Alabama Birding Trails
The Alabama Birding Trails is a partnership of the Alabama Birding Trails, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, and Birmingham Audubon.
Cahulga Creek Presents Outdoor Classroom
University of Alabama’s Tourism and Community Development Tourism Director Candace Johnson says everyone can learn something. Johnson also says another great thing about the outdoor classroom is it offers a different way to learn.
Auburn’s Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve added to Alabama Birding Trails
The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve in Auburn is one of 10 new sites being added to the Alabama Birding Trails in 2018.
Spirit of cooperation enables Fayette to flourish as an Alabama Community of Excellence
Through the ACE program, we have been able to develop a strong, five-year strategic plan along with a long-range comprehensive plan, as well as an active adult-leadership class.
Center to Distribute Dr. Seuss Reading Kits to Black Belt Schools
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, along with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, is promoting the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day by providing Dr. Seuss-themed reading kits to 23 schools in eight counties within the Black Belt region.
Ace of Spaces
Miranda, the director of the University of Alabama’s Center for Economic Development, told community stakeholders and city representatives that one of ACE’s goals is to work with up-and-coming communities in the state, and to help those cities thrive.
Campus book drive to benefit communities within the Black Belt region
The project, managed by the UA Center for Economic Development, is gathering books for underprivileged children and communities within the Black Belt, a region of 13, typically poorer, Alabama counties. Throughout the month of February, those involved with the project will gather books to further the initiative.
Book donations sought for K-12 children
The campaign, organized by the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, seeks donations of new or gently used classic and award-winning books for K-12 children.
Shades Creek Greenway recognized as Birding Trail
This is the first Birding Trail location in Homewood and will be part of the Appalachian Highlands region. The trail is a partnership with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and Birmingham Audubon Society.
Ten New Locations Added to Alabama Birding Trails Program
The Alabama Birding Trails is a partnership of the Alabama Birding Trails, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, and Birmingham Audubon.
Walker County Lake, which is part of the West Alabama Birding Trail, is home to a nesting pair of eagles for part of the year.
Guntersville is an Alabama Community of Excellence basking in a lake-effect glow
So, under the guidance of ACE, the city embarked on a $5 million downtown enhancement project. It was the first of many steps that Guntersville has taken to strengthen its long-term economic prospects through leadership development and strategic planning, using lessons learned from the ACE program.
Montevallo puts the pieces together as an Alabama Community of Excellence
“ACE provided us with a platform to consolidate our vision as a community,” second-term Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost said. “They brought us together to develop a strategic plan, and then we had direction. We had a real path for moving forward, so we were able to clearly define our goals as a community.”
Birding Trails in Alabama
Joe Watts, a consultant with the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, said the state’s system of trails was completed in 2013 and offers birders a variety of habitats and opportunities for seeing unique species throughout the year.
There’s no doubting Thomasville as an Alabama Community of Excellence
“Even before ACE, we’ve always tried to make sure that everybody in our community – schools, businesses, City Council, Chamber of Commerce – is on the same page and doing what they can in their niche to make our community the best it can be,” Day said. “Once we got involved in the ACE program, we were able to take that to a whole new level in a way we never would have been able to do by ourselves. Small towns need guidance on how to accomplish things, and ACE provided the catalyst to pull all our personalities together and make the progress we needed.”
Heflin is happening, thanks to Alabama Communities of Excellence
“It was ACE that really got us started several years ago,” Maloney said. “That’s what created this leadership to let us capitalize on the passion of the citizens here, and gave us a strategic approach to moving this town forward. ACE shows you how to do big things with little resources.”
Haleyville answers the call as an Alabama Community of Excellence
“ACE gives you the structure of how to work on these things, then it goes through the steps of how to accomplish them,” said Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri, who was elected in 2008 and is serving his third term. “It gives you a snapshot of where you are and where you want to be, and the availability of the assets you can tap into. Things that small communities might not be familiar with.”
ACE Designates Three Communities as an "Alabama Community of Excellence" and Announces the 2017 Incoming Class
The ACE Partner organizations providing funding in 2017 include: Alabama Department of Commerce; Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs; Alabama League of Municipalities; Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority; Alabama Power Company; Alabama Small Business Development Center Network; Auburn University – Government and Economic Development Institute; Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc.; PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; Regions Bank; Southeast Gas; The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and The University of West Alabama. ACE also is receiving grant funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Alabama Communities of Excellence marks 15 years of boosting towns across the state
Working with ACE are Alabama Power, the Alabama Department of Commerce, Regions Bank, the Alabama Small Business Development Network, the Alabama League of Municipalities, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Alabama Historical Commission, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, Auburn University Government and Economic Development Institute, the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, the University of West Alabama, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, Southeast Alabama Gas District, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc.
Smith Mountain Trail Talk - Signage project will highlight more that just CRATA paths
The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail, which is part of the Alabama Birding Trails system and includes several sites throughout the lake area, also will be highlighted in the Smith Mountain signage project now under way.
Program aims to create lifelong readers
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, along with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, promoted the National Education Association's Read Across America Day by providing Dr. Seuss-themed reading kits to 21 schools in seven counties in the Black Belt region.
Tourism becoming big business in west Alabama
Thanks to a recent collaborative effort between the University of Alabama’s Center for Economic Development, the Appalachian Regional Commission and multiple economic development entities within the region, tourism is quickly becoming big business for seven west Alabama counties.
UA Center Sends Reading Kits to Black Belt Schools
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, along with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, is promoting the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day by providing Dr. Seuss-themed reading kits to 21 schools in seven counties in the Black Belt region.
Bluewater Paddling on a Green River
Several organizations — including the Cahaba River Society, the Nature Conservancy, the Freshwater Land Trust and The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED) — are seeking to change this and turn the river into a legitimate tourism attraction through the creation of the Cahaba Blueway.
Lend A Hand: Book drive benefiting Black Belt schools begins in February
The month-long University of Alabama Center for Economic Development's Books for the Alabama Black Belt campaign begins Feb. 1. The annual campaign gathers donations of gently-used, classic and award-winning books...
Book campaign begins next month
The 2017 Books for the Alabama Black Belt Campaign will be throughout the month of February. One book can change a life; 42,000 children need your help. The annual project is sponsored by The University of Alabama Center for for Economic Development...
UA Books for Alabama Black Belt Campaign Begins
The campaign offers an opportunity for students and area residents to donate new or gently used classic and award-winning books frequently found on school reading lists for K-12 children.
Rural Alabama county looks to jumpstart economy with tourism
"It's a very low-population-based county" of 12,000 people, said Nisa Miranda, director of UA's Center for Economic Development, which has partnered with Auburn University to come up with a plan for the county at the behest of Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover. Coosa is "very naturally beautiful, with creeks, rivers bounding it and creeks running through it," Miranda said.
Bird's the word as Wind Creek State park get new trail sign
The panel highlights the park as a major area within the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail and the Alabama Birding Trails systems.
Alabama Black Belt Project aims to instill love of reading
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development has completed the 10th consecutive year of providing leadership and coordination of the Books for the Alabama Black Belt project.
Wetlands Park Get Signage
On the boardwalk that meanders through the Florala Wetlands Park, a man sat enjoying his lunch. Asked if he was aware he was in the midst of a birding trail, he said, “Really, I just bring my lunch here sometimes. But we do have birds of prey.”
Confederate Memorial Park gains new birding trail sign
A new sign was erected on Tuesday that highlights the Piedmont Plateau birding trail at Confederate Memorial Park in Chilton County.
Outdoor Classroom Sites on Alabama's Birding Trails (see page 6)
The Alabama Birding Trails (http://alabamabirdingtrails.com/) and the Environmental Educators Association of Alabama (EEAA) are teaming up together with a new and exciting project to bring the classroom to the outdoors!
The Clanton Advertiser: Local Leaders Attend Economic Development Workshop
Chilton County could be primed for economic development, and local leaders spent time Wednesday learning about the topic. An economic development workshop titled “How Communities Compete for Industry” was held at the Alabama Power Conference Center. Guest speakers incuded Ephraim Stockdale and Patrick Murphy from Alabama Power, Ted Clem from the Alabama Department of Commerce, Connie Bainbridge from Central Alabama Electric Cooperative and Nisa Miranda from the University of Alabama.
Business Alabama: Blazing a New Trail
The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development is a spearhead for outdoor trails development — an often-untapped potential for Alabama’s rural communities.
Business Alabama: All Hail the Trail
Alabama tourism promoters were quick to master the development of the trails package. It began big with golf but rolls on to include brisket, birds and the biggest tour track of rivers in the country.
Chartered by the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System in 1989, The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED), directed by Nisa Miranda, serves as a coordinating business outreach unit for the resources and expertise of existing centers, bureaus, and institutes on economic development. Through the utilization of professional staff and customized project teams, UACED assists communities, agencies and organizations to take an “asset based” planning approach to economic development opportunities.