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Call 205-322-5326 or click the link above to send an email requesting a CLEAN Trip.

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Cahaba River Society’s Shane Hulsey CLEAN (Children Linking with the Environment Across the Nation) program provides students with interactive, river-based environmental science activities while they safely participate in a canoe trip, stream walk, or service-learning project.

Classroom CLEAN programs prepare students to learn in the field. CLEAN has brought over 36,000 students and teachers into the Cahaba River and other community water resources since 1996.

CLEAN offers a diverse and adaptable set of programs designed to educate, motivate and inspire youth to take active roles in the environmental health of our community.

Young people have a natural curiosity about science and the environment, and CLEAN’s interdisciplinary field and classroom curriculum encourages critical thinking by students and prepares them to make informed decisions about water resources. CLEAN teaches the science that underpins stewardship while engaging youth in fun, healthful outdoor play and learning, helping to foster a new generation of informed citizens and leaders. Age-appropriate field activities include watershed orientation, collecting and learning about fish and macro invertebrates, learning how to canoe, and water quality testing.

The vision of CLEAN is that our young people become knowledgeable and healthy adult leaders and act as good stewards to ensure their drinking water remains healthy & abundant and their rivers are clean & life-filled. We are expanding CLEAN to serve more urban and rural disadvantaged youth, especially those of color and low income, to give them a positive outdoor experience that enhances learning and connects them with water resources.

OUTREACH TO URBAN & RURAL SCHOOLS: CRS is a partner is supporting curriculum enrichment in Birmingham City Schools, such as such as the Career Academies and the Woodlawn Innovation Network, and CLEAN’s Education Director and Environmental Educator serve on the Woodlawn Arts & Environmental Science Academy Advisory Council. Through strengthened relationships with members of the Birmingham Board of Education and Village Creek Human and Environmental Justice Society, we are advancing opportunities to promote CLEAN to urban school administrators and teachers. We continue seeking opportunities to expand service to rural communities.

SUMMER ADVENTURES IN LEARNING (SAIL): SAIL is a collaborative initiative that invests in summer youth programs to strengthen math and reading skills and improve summer learning retention. SAIL’s aim is that Birmingham’s disadvantaged students will no longer lose up to 5 months or more of grade-level equivalency during the summer months. CLEAN was selected as a SAIL enrichment program in 2013 to support these goals through fun, interactive science learning. To dispel common fears about the outdoors, we offer “Classroom CLEAN”– an in-class, interactive introduction to the Cahaba’s biodiversity and importance to our region – to all SAIL providers.

SERVICE-LEARNING RESTORATION PROJECTS: Engaging people in volunteer river restoration is an important part of CLEAN’s aim to build commitment to environmental stewardship. We work with many school, civic, and business partners to organize river restoration projects, including river clean-ups, privet removal, riverside tree plantings, and trail building.

LEAD CLEAN PROGRAM STAFF: Gordon Black, CRS Education Director since 2007, has more than 45 years’ experience in paddle sports and a national reputation as a teacher of boating safety and rescue. Gordon was the American Canoe Association’s National Director of Safety Education and Instruction for 6 years and spent 16 years as instructor, guide, and Head of Instruction (7 years) at the Nantahala Outdoor Center.

La’Tanya Scott, CRS Environmental Educator, holds a BS degree with an Environmental Science major. La’Tanya is a skilled outdoor educator and role model who strengthens our outreach and service to urban schools and youth of color.

Made Possible by the Generous Support of:


The Coca-Cola Foundation

Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation

Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation

Regions Bank

Daniel Foundation of Alabama

Wells Fargo



Vulcan Materials Company Foundation – Lead CLEAN Corporate Sponsor

Joseph S. Bruno Charitable Foundation

McWane Foundation

Norcross Foundation

International Expeditions

City of Vestavia Hills

Alabama Outdoors




Amerex Corporation

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United

EBSCO Industries

Hancock Forest Management

Eugene Ireland Foundation

Jemison Investment Company

Hugh Kaul Foundation

Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation
Robert R. Meyer Foundation

The Nature Conservancy of Alabama


Protective Life Foundation

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church

Steiner Foundation

Three S Fund


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