Earth Day Purpose and Celebrations

Earth Day comes around every year on April 22 but the history and idea behind the day is not commonly discussed. The concept for Earth Day was for the nation to focus on the environment for one day. Founder Gaylord Nelson was a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. After seeing the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara and being ruled by the student anti-war movement, he related the public needed to be aware of the air and water pollution they were contributing.  Nelson worked until the next year

Earth Day Network states that “on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.” Learn more about Earth Day.

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Alabama Adventures: High Ropes in the Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest

By Sydney Cromwell

When life is feeling stale and you need a break in your routine, the Magic City delivers. From 14,000 feet in the air to hundreds of feet underground, we found the best adventures in the Birmingham area. This is the first in a six-part series.

High Ropes

Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest
Red Mountain Park, 2011 Frankfurt Dr.
$50 per person (two hours)
(205) 913-7899

Hidden in the trees of Red Mountain Park is a series of ropes, cables and wooden planks that create both a mental and physical challenge. The Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest consists of 13 tree platforms, the highest sitting over 60 feet off the ground, with 20 obstacles spanning the space in between.
These challenges include a slack-line, rope bridges, a climbing wall and a variety of other things to crawl, climb, jump or balance upon. Meagan Odom, the adventure operations and service manager, said one of the most popular parts is the “surfboard,” a hanging plank that people can ride back and forth between two platforms.
Odom said the course was built in May 2013 to accommodate growing interest in the outdoors in Birmingham and “to encourage a bunch of shapes, sizes and ages to get up and challenge themselves in a safe way.” Since then, she has seen hundreds of children and adults take on the Beanstalk Forest.
“I like that everybody does it differently,” Odom said. “You’ll see a six-year-old kid and a 32-year-old man do the same event within the same two hours and it will not look like the same event.”
One of the other advantages of the course, Odom said, is that people can choose which challenges they want to try. Some want to experience every obstacle, and others have fun just trying two or three. Both of those approaches are encouraged.
For those who want multiple adventures in one day, the park also has a zipline that is visible from the Beanstalk Forest, a climbing wall under construction and miles of hiking trails. Odom said Red Mountain Park’s adventure area “does nothing but grow.”