Day 1: Introduction to Red Mountain Park
Red Mountain Park consists of over 1,200 acres, stretching four-and-a-half miles between the cities of Homewood and Bessemer. Red Mountain was the primary source of the rich iron ore deposits that—along with vast coal fields and abundant supplies of limestone—prompted the founding of Birmingham in 1871.
When completed, Red Mountain Park will give Birmingham more dedicated green space per capita than any city in the country. The park will offer diverse opportunities for recreational use; its four-level trail system will accommodate walkers, hikers, runners, and cyclists. The park will also include active, adventure-based recreational activities such as ropes courses, a canopy walk, zipline, mountain bike training zone, and forest playground, threaded together on the hillsides.
To learn more about Red Mountain Park and how you can support it, visit www.redmountainpark.org
Day 2: Where in the world (well, Birmingham) is Red Mountain Park?
Red Mountain Park is located just four and a half miles from the heart of downtown Birmingham. In the southwest part of our city and just off Lakeshore Parkway, the park is situated on over 1,200 acres, extending approximately 4.5 miles east-to-west along Red Mountain in between Homewood and Bessemer. (Wow!) From the park you can see views of downtown Birmingham from the newly constructed City Overlook Trails. The park office is located just a short walk from the park in Industrial Park at: 277 Lyon LaneBirmingham, Al 35211
Day 3: Hiking and Biking at Red Mountain Park? Why, yes!
“The eastern Trails system will open 10 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails at Red Mountain Park. Some trails will be ADA accessible as well. This is just the beginning of the phased opening of one of the nation’s most exciting new urban parks.” – Red Mountain Park, Executive Director, Dave Dionne.
Day 4: THE MASTER PLAN
A park this large and one that recounts so much of Birmingham’s past as it’s foundation, definitely has a “master plan.” When laying the ground work for Red Mountain Park, designers incorporated several aspects of development. Some of the elements that were key were:
Renewal, with the planned restoration and preservation of natural resources continuing the process that has gradually reclaimed Red Mountain from its mining days. The plan for Red Mountain Park calls for reforestation, creation of meadows, removal of invasive species and safeguarding of the headwaters of the Black Warrior and Cahaba rivers.
Connections, which will be forged by Red Mountain Park’s status as a vital link between the past, present, and future of Birmingham. The park will be a major destination for family outings, school groups, history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts from throughout the Birmingham region and Alabama, as well as an attractive tourist stop. The park will also continue to work with other local nonprofit and civic organizations, neighborhood and community groups and interested individuals to be a point of convergence for building community.
Aesthetics, with development of the park being guided by design principles derived from the former mining structures that populate the site, as well as by the rich tradition of local folk art and a strong commitment to environmental stewardship.
Day 5: What’s At the Park Now?
Check out some cool pics from the Park as it is now:
Day 6: Just What Can You Do at RMP?
The answer? A little bit of everything… The park will offer diverse opportunities for recreational use, appreciation of nature, and understanding of Birmingham’s iron ore mining history. Its four-level trail system will be interconnected via a series of loop trails, and will accommodate walkers, hikers, runners, and cyclists. The Folds will be the location for a wide range of active, adventure-based recreational activities such as ropes courses, a canopy walk, zipline, mountain bike training zone, and forest playground, threaded together on the hillside above the Commons. Redding Lake will be a 20-acre dammed water body forming one of the five focal areas of recreation in the park, providing a different mode of recreation for a different cross section of visitors.
Day 7: Making Cents of Red Mountain Park’s Economic Impact on Birmingham
Check out some highlights from an Economic impact report, taken from Michael Tomberlin at The Birmingham News 3/11/2011. The development of Red Mountain Park is providing:
-$22.4 million annual economic impact
-$7.6 million in wages
-Total of 309 jobs in the metro area
-One-time economic impact of $176.2 million in spending
-$58.3 million in wages
-1,700 direct and indirect jobs supported.
- $17.5 million first phase goal of current capital campaign
-Annual impact of $18.1 million in expenditures
- $4.8 million of which will be in wages
- Another 269 jobs will be supported in the Birmingham area by that development
- $322 million in construction spending is expected, including $103 million in wages and salaries, and a total of more than 3,100 direct and indirect jobs will be supported
Day 8: Red Mountain Park by the Numbers
The Park is over 1200 acres
The total cost to complete Red Mountain Park is $47 million
The cost of Land is $7 million, with a cost per acre being $5,800
There are over 20 miles of foot trails and mountain bike trails
Homes within .5 miles of the main trails within the park will gain 3%-5% in value
The Park is the site of 3 former mining camps
It had 1 shaft mine, 10 slope mines, and 100s of drift mines populated the mountain
In 1948, Red Mountain had 1,611 underground employees and 110 above-ground employees working at the site
Red Mountain mined from 1863 - 1971….108 years
305,000,000 tons of ore were removed
2,824,075 tons per year
7732 tons per day
322.17 tons per hour
5.37 tons per minute, for 108 straight years
Day 9: Design and Architecture: Redding Hoist House
Redding Hoist House is one of the most significant mining structures on Red Mountain. Its architectural design is unique to the Birmingham area, and Red Mountain Park has ambitious hopes to fully restore the structure in the coming months. It is the only vertical shaft mine in Birmingham, and was originally used to pull skips up the shafts, transporting iron ore up the mountain.
Red Mountain Park also has plans to reconstruct the tiple at the No. 10 mine, to become the Jones Valley overlook.
Source: Eric McFerrin- Park Ranger, Red Mountain Park
Day 10: Types of Mining at Red Mountain
Did you know: There are four different types of mining that were implemented throughout Red Mountain’s history: Outcrop mining, Drift Mining, Slope mining, and vertical shaft mining. Slope mining had been used on the mountain since 1863 and was the most common type of mining on Red Mountain.
As Red Mountain Park develops, there will be certain vantage points where multiple mining sights are visible across the park.
Day 11: Honoring Tradition
Among the primary goals of Red Mountain Park is to honor the significant contributions to Birmingham’s economic and cultural development made by iron and steel workers, their families, and the communities in which they lived. One means of accomplishing this is through the collection and presentation of oral histories. A team of Red Mountain Park Staff, UAB Faculty Members, and local photographer, Melissa Springer, are getting out into the community to capture the stories that simply cannot be left untold. http://www.redmountainpark.org/brochure/
If you have information about those who lived or worked on Red Mountain please contact Red Mountain Park at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 202-6043
Day 13: Connecting Neighborhoods
Possible development of a series of multi-use ball fields with parking and facilities that would deliver safe, well-designed organized recreation fields for the underserved communities on the Park’s north side.
Day 14: UAB Partnership In the Development of Red Mountain Park
“We thought the partnership with Red Mountain Park would be ideal for our students, because Red Mountain didn’t have all of the man power necessary to go out and collect the miner’s stories. So far we’ve collected about 25 oral histories of various members of the mining community, as well as wives and children who grew up in mining camps.”
- Rosie O’Beirn, Professor at UAB
Day 15: Favorite Wildlife at Red Mountain Park