Birmingham, Ala. — The Outdoor Alabama Expo is being held at OakMountainState Park on September 30, 2006, from and will culminate the 2006 Year of Outdoor Alabama.
The Outdoor Alabama Expo is a hands-on, family-friendly event. Participants will enjoy outdoor recreation and learn about conservation through a variety of how-to sessions. Experts will help introduce newcomers to activities such as birding, fishing, boating safety, rock climbing and wildlife watching.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the 2006 Year of Outdoor Alabama with the Outdoor Alabama Expo at OakMountain,” says Barnett Lawley, Commissioner of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “This is the largest of three Expos held during 2006. We are helping families connect while they enjoy and learn new, exciting outdoor adventures together.”
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel have partnered together to present a series of three Outdoor Alabama Expos. The Expo at OakMountain will be the final Expo in 2006.
Free Day at OakMountainState Park Allows Families
to Explore New Outdoor Adventures
OakMountain is opening its gates for residents and visitors to experience an admission-free day in one of Alabama’s most popular state parks. All equipment will be provided, and the $3 entrance fee will be waived. Activities at the Expo include learn-to-hunt and learn-to-fish programs that will introduce newcomers to the popular sports. A Shooting Sports Area will give participants the opportunity to shoot small bore rifles, air guns and shotguns and practice archery.
Several birds of prey will also be featured at the Expo including hawks, owls and eagles from the Kelley Bartlett Conservancy. Expo visitors will also enjoy a fish-touch tank containing live fish and other aquatic species, bird-watching lessons and a boating exhibit that includes boating and water safety.
“Nature-based recreation is a significant part of tourism in our state,” says Lee Sentell, director of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel. “This is a great opportunity to bring your family for a free day at OakMountain and try a new outdoor activity.”
Exhibitors, Activities and Music for the Whole Family
Additional activities offered at the Expo include rock climbing, environmental education, guided nature hikes and canoeing, as well as informational exhibits from a variety of outdoor organizations including the Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Alabama Army National Guard, Alabama Hiking Trail Society, McWane Center, Army Corps of Engineers, Alabama Horse Society and the Birmingham Zoo. These groups will be providing activities such as boating on a lake in electric mini-boats, native live animals and equestrian activities.
Several Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce’ such as Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, Jackson County Tourism, True Adventure Sports, Anniston Outdoor Association, Scenic Alabama, Inc. and ALA-Bike will also be featured at the Expo to provide information about their areas of Alabama. A complete list of exhibitors and activities can be found at www.outdooralabama.com or
Local bands and singers will also be on hand to provide visitors with a variety of music throughout the Expo. They include Rollin' in the Hay, Sam Pointer, Lolly Lee/Jason Bailey and Foxxy Fatts.
OakMountain Expo Features First-Ever Outdoor AlabamaRetailCenter
The Outdoor Alabama Expo includes an “OutdoorAlabamaRetailCenter” where visitors can browse and shop for the latest in outdoor sports gear.
“This Expo is the grand finale to a year that has celebrated Alabama’s outdoor wonders,” says Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel Director Lee Sentell.
Alabama’s natural resources provide a variety of benefits such as clean air and water, habitats for wildlife and unlimited opportunities for outdoor adventure and recreation. The economic benefit is valuable to Alabama as well. According to a recent survey by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the annual economic impact of nature-based recreation in Alabama is $4.3 billion.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes the statewide stewardship and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy them. The department also advises the state government on management of freshwater fish, wildlife, marine resources, waterway safety, state lands, state parks and other natural resources. This includes the administration, management and maintenance of 22 state parks, 23 public fishing lakes, three freshwater fish hatcheries, 34 wildlife management areas, two waterfowl refuges, three nature centers, two wildlife sanctuaries, a mariculture center with 35 ponds and 645,000 acres of trust lands. Other departmental functions include maintenance of a StateLandResourceInformationCenter and administration of the Forever Wild land-acquisition program. For more information, visit www.outdooralabama.com.
The state tourism bureau exists to develop materials and resources to attract visitors to the state of Alabama. The Southeast Tourism Society named the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel the State Tourism Organization of the Year for 2004 and again in 2005, distinguishing ABTT as the only state tourism organization to have won the award for two successive years. For more information, visit www.800alabama.com or call 1-800-ALABAMA.
Directions to OakMountainState Park from I-65:
OakMountainState Park is located 15 miles south of Birmingham off Exit 246 on Interstate 65.
From I-65, take the Cahaba Valley Road (AL-119) exit. Go south on AL-119 and immediately turn left onto State Park Road. Go approximately 1.5 miles to the park entrance.