June 2017 Newsletter

Find the perfect Father’s Day gift

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? We know where you can find it – in Alabama’s Black Belt. For the dad who has everything, pick out a one-of-a-kind hunting trip for this fall or winter provided by one of the great outfitters and lodges in the Black Belt. They offer all-inclusive services including lodging, meals, guide service and game prep. All you have to do is create lasting memories with dad. Many public hunting grounds are available in the region, as well.  You can find info on all the above at this link on our website

If you don’t want to wait until hunting season, there are also many lodges that offer fishing packages that you can enjoy any time and the Black Belt region’s rivers, lakes and streams are teaming with lunker bass, slab crappie and a wonderful setting to enjoy nature at its best.

There are other options, too, if your dad isn’t the type to take a hunting or fishing trip. On our website you can find golf at two of the Robert Trent Jones championship golf courses, canoeing and rafting opportunities as well as fun places to visit to soak up Black Belt culture and fantastic food.

Get dad an outdoors adventure in Alabama’s Black Belt and share it with him, if you can. You’ll never forget it!

New directors join ALBBAA board

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association board added two new members: Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon (left) and Alfred “Freddy” Padilla Jr. of Alabama Power Company. Both are natives of the Black Belt and are longtime supporters of the ALBBAA’s mission of promoting outdoors tourism in the area. Their addition expands the board to six members.

“We’re honored that Dexter and Freddy have agreed to serve,” said ALBBAA founder and board chairman Thomas A. Harris. “They’re enthusiastic supporters of the region and will make significant contributions to our efforts as we continue to spur economic growth through eco-tourism development. Our ultimate goal is branding the Black Belt as a national destination for outdoor recreation.”

“The Alabama Black Belt is a treasure, blessed with wonderful people and countless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors,” said McLendon, who is serving his fifth term as mayor of the Butler County town. “Greenville is home to the spectacular Cambrian Ridge Golf Course, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, and Sherling Lake offers great fishing and chances to enjoy a relaxing walk on our trails, so I know how important the outdoors is to our economy in Butler County. I look forward to working with the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association to help the entire region benefit from increased tourism.”

Padilla, a Demopolis native, is part of the Governmental and Corporate Affairs team at Alabama Power Co. He is active in various organizations, including the Green Resource Center for Alabama, The Rotaract Club of Birmingham and the Alabama Wildlife Federation. He has been a member of the ALBBAA Advisory Council since its inception in late 2015 and has contributed extensively to the social media marketing strategies and helped introduce a younger demographic to outdoor recreational opportunities in the Black Belt region.

“I live in the Birmingham metro area now, but my heart is always with my hometown,” Padilla said. “I grew up hunting and fishing and I want to help share my love of the Black Belt with everyone. I believe one visit to a historic cultural site, one early morning turkey hunt or one afternoon spent on the waters of the Black Warrior or Tombigbee can make everyone an advocate for the Black Belt, too.”

Send us those Best Fish photos

It’s summertime (in a couple days) and time for our Best Black Belt Fish Photo Contest! Send us your best photo of any fish caught in Alabama’s Black Belt this year to photocontest@albbaa.org and you may win a free night at beautiful Lakepoint Resort State Park – an angler’s paradise!

The contest is conducted on our Facebook page. The winner will be the photo that receives the most “likes.” The contest is open now until August 24, 2017. Winners of any ALBBAA Facebook photo contests from 2015-17 are not eligible. Entry gives ALBBAA the right to use the photo in future promotions or for public relations purposes.

“We are so excited that one of our great partners – the Alabama State Parks System – has donated such a great prize,” ALBBAA Project Director Pam Swanner said. “Lake Eufaula is internationally known as an unbelievable fishing destination. Plus, Lakepoint Resort State Park has so much to offer along with being a bass hotspot.”

Again, to be eligible, the fish in photos entered must have been caught in one of Alabama’s Black Belt counties – Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox. Entries MUST be emailed to photocontest@albbaa.org and NOT uploaded to Facebook.

Covey Run Lodge offers great hunts, fishing, more

The Covey Run Lodge in Livingston is a new partner with Alabama Black Belt Adventures and this 400-plus-acre property has lots to offer. Covey Run features guided pheasant, quail, dove, turkey and hog hunts. The landscape is planted with more than 100 acres of crops every year, which hosts some of the best wing shooting in the area.

There are four ponds located at Covey Run, stocked with bass and catfish. The lodge has a large deck just off the swimming pool that is ideal for clay pigeon shooting – or social gatherings. Nightly accommodations will sleep up to 16 people and include five bedrooms and four full baths.

Covey Run Lodge is located at 182 McCainville Road, 1.5 miles off I-20/59 at Exit 17 in Livingston. Learn more by calling 601-527-6576 or email pooled4@gmail.com. Visit online at Facebook.com/AirbnbCoveyRun.

Gator hunt registration is underway

Registration for the 2017 Alabama alligator hunts opened on June 2 and must be completed by 8 a.m. on July 11. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will issue 260 Alligator Possession Tags, split among four hunting zones. Black Belt counties are included in every zone.

Only Alabama residents and Alabama lifetime license holders 16 and older may apply for tags. Visit outdooralabama.com/registration-instructions to register. Hunters will be randomly selected by computer to receive one of the tags. The more years an applicant participates in the registration, the higher the likelihood of being selected.

Applicants should check their selection status on July 12 after noon (Central). Those selected must confirm their acceptance by 8 a.m. on July 19. Successful applicants must attend a mandatory zone-specific Alligator Training Course provided by the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division.

A touch of France in Rural Union Springs

Recently I was traveling through Union Springs and I took the route through downtown (I always like to see the bird dog statue). I stumbled upon an interesting looking building that I’d not noticed on previous trips. The sign on the building said French Pressed Home Bakery, so that piqued my interest and had my mouth watering. I pulled over, grabbed my phone to take a picture of the old bike decorated with flowers and the door opened. It was the owner of the bakery and she (Amber Anderson) invited me in to take a look. It was my lucky day!

OMG! I thought I had time traveled to a quaint little town in the south of France. The old brick walls have been preserved, a cozy sitting area is staged around the fireplace, and crystal chandeliers provide soft lighting and illuminate the beautifully decorated cakes, cupcakes, cookies and pastries of all different shapes and varieties. Take a peek at some of their fabulous creations on their Facebook page. They also serve lunch and are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Although they’ve been open since October, the city is giving them an official “Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Celebration” on June 20 at 11 a.m. Plan a trip to Union Springs. It’s worth the effort to visit the French Pressed Home Bakery located at 108 Conecuh Avenue. You won’t be disappointed. And, think about a trip to combine the bakery with an entertaining play at the Red Door Theatre (see below) …

‘Dreamland Bus’ coming to Union Springs

Mark your calendar and get your tickets for a great play at the Red Door Theatre in Union Springs running from July 27-30. “The Dreamland Bus” won the 1991 Southern Playwright’s Competition and the 1992 Festival of Southern Theater Playwriting Competition for Kenneth Graham. The Red Door’s production is directed by Kathryn Adams Wood.

The play is based on Graham’s family and his Southern upbringing. The title reflects the words of his father, a Southern doctor, when the children were being put to bed – “it’s time to get on the dreamland bus.”

Call 334-738-8687 or email info@reddoortheatre.org for tickets or more information. The Red Door Theatre is located at Prairie Street and U.S. 82 in Union Springs. Tickets are $15 for the play that begins at 7:30 p.m., following dinner on Thursday-Saturday (price for dinner at 6 p.m. is also $15). Sunday’s matinee is at 2:30 p.m. A limited number of overnight accommodations are available.

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Welcome to the Black Belt


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<p>Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox. Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox.

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