Fresh & Free

These days, it’s seriously hard to find anything worth having that’s free—especially when it comes to kids. But Fresh Air Family finds a way to make getting in the outdoors priceless. Once president of the Alabama Wildflower Society and voted “Conservationist of the Year” by the Alabama Environmental Council, Verna Gates is a nature lover dedicated to educating kids about the outdoors and in 2006 founded Fresh Air Family, an Alabama organization devoted to doing that very thing.

Over the last several years, Fresh Air Family has grown to offer over 400 outdoor activities to an outreach of more than 10,000 people. What’s involved in these programs? Well, just to name a few: hiking, camping, canoeing, star gazing, hunting for fossils, orienteering, birding, caving and, of course, searching for all things creepy and crawly. Today, Fresh Air Family partners with many organizations throughout Alabama, including the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Scale Back Alabama, to host an array of healthy events helping people get healthier in a “natural” way.



Does your child like to be GROSSED OUT? Working with Fresh Air Family, both the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the Alabama Wildlife Federation are offering summer camps to help kids learn about the world that surrounds them, all in the form of bugs, reptiles, stinky plants and more! Visit for dates and more information.