Black Belt SOIL Series at UWA

The Black Belt SOIL Series (summer observation and interactive learning series) consists of five day camps for students who will be in the 7th and 8th grade during the 2015-16 academic year.

For Camps 1-5, there are 15 spots for children and 5 spots for teachers in the Black Belt

to participate and observe the interactive learning activities used during the camp.

These are lessons that can be replicated in their own classrooms.

$25 each workshop or $100 for all five.

The SOIL Series for teachers, Camp 6, is a 2-day workshop ($95) that is based on a series of lessons built around the Black Belt (place-based learning) while meeting state and common core standards.

At the end of the workshop, teachers will receive a Black Belt backpack complete

with lesson plans and instructional materials to use in their classrooms.

Limited to 20 teachers.

Camps 7 and 8 focus on art – one a single day camp ($45) and the other a 3-day camp ($95).

Both of the art camps will focus on using items from each of the SOIL series as “inspiration”

for the art programming to demonstrate the use of art across the curriculum.

Limited to 20 students.

Please click below for information and to register.

SOIL Series Information Flyer

SOIL Camp 1 Registration Form

2015 Career Exploration Summer Camp application

Career Camp Cover 2015The University of West Alabama (UWA) will host the 2015 Career Exploration Summer Camp (CESC) Program for rising Sophomore and Junior high school students (during the 2015-2016 school year) June 14 – 23, 2015. This is a residential program where students will stay on the UWA campus. The purpose of the CESC Program is to offer students the ability to explore career options and prepare for college through interactive and engaging hands-on activities, field trips and presentations. The CESC Program, sponsored by the Delta Regional Authority, is open to students attending public and private secondary schools across the State. The CESC is an extremely intense and structured learning opportunity for youth in the secondary school systems of Alabama.

The curriculum offers students a thorough look into current and emerging career fields, highlights of the knowledge and skills needed for each career, essential information on projected employment— where the jobs are and will continue to grow, and steps that students can take now, while in high school, to prepare for the future. In addition, students will participate in standardized applicant test preparation courses, business etiquette, computer training, academic enhancement activities, field trips and hands-on projects.

Approximately 20 students from grades 10-11 will be accepted to participate in the free 10-day summer program.

Click HERE to download the application.

Pursue Sustainability newsletter

Pursue Sustainability Banner





A Newsletter of the Black Belt Conservation Research Institute

Click below to view the publication.

April 2015

Historic Black Belt Museum building offers unique consolation prize

A Museum console that had been exposed to over a century of weather is restored.

Click here to view the Power Point picture story.

Consolation Prize web launch pic

James Lamb and Tim Truelove with the restored Black Belt Museum console.

Black Belt Symposium: Clash of Empires

Symposium Handbill 2-2015 Proof 3

Register here to attend the Black Belt Symposium.

Fitts, Huffman and Thurn join the Black Belt Hall of Fame


The induction ceremony and luncheon honoring Dr. Alston Fitts, III, the late Judge Rufus C. Huffman, Sr. and the late Richard L. Thurn is Friday, Jan. 30, from noon-2 p.m. at the University of West Alabama’s Bell Conference Center. Click here for more information.

Hall of Fame Group Picture 2015sm


The Black Belt Connection

The Black Belt Connection September/October 2014 newsletter, along with newsletter archives, are available here.


Alabama’s 2014 Places in Peril announced


Alabama’s Most Endangered Sites for 2014         

Urgent Action Is Needed to Save Important Historic and Architecturally Significant Sites

Some of Alabama’s greatest places of historical and architectural significance are at risk! Neglect, redevelopment pressures, and disregard for the importance of historic preservation threaten to rob Alabamians of distinctive buildings and their settings, depriving citizens and visitors of irreplaceable elements of the state’s cultural heritage. 

Each year since 1994, the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation have published a list of the state’s most endangered historic places in an effort to publicize the urgent need for action to save important private homes, public buildings, bridges, and other parts of the built environment. Over those two decades, many structures have been saved, but many others have been lost. In fact, this year’s list includes two places that have been listed before—one that continues to languish in neglect, worse for the wear and tear of intervening years, and one that has benefitted from recent restoration but now needs a new steward.

The 2014 list of Alabama Places in Peril includes two public buildings, a grand antebellum home and a modest twentieth-century bungalow, an old mill complex, and one of the best-known streetscapes in the state.

• Old Tuscaloosa County Jail, 2803 Sixth Street, Tuscaloosa, circa 1856, William B. Robertson, arch.

• Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Birmingham Branch, 1801 Fifth Ave., N., Birmingham, 1926-7, Warren, Knight & Davis, arch., J. Krebs, builder; addition 1958-9

•  Winter Place, 454 S. Goldthwaite St., Montgomery, ca. 1850 w/1870s addition

•  Amelia and Samuel Boynton House, 1315 Lapsley Street, Selma, ca. 1935

•  Pearce’s Mill, Hamilton vicinity, ca. 1840-1940

•  North Eufaula Avenue Parkway, Eufaula, mid-19th century to the present, multiple architects, landscape architects, and horitculturists, many unknown

For information about Places in Peril, and to help with their preservation, please contact the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation by mail at Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation, UWA Station 45, Livingston, AL, 35470, call (205) 652-3497 or email alabamatrust@athp.org. Visit our website at www.alabamatrust.info.

The Places in Peril list carries no formal protection, but it does build awareness in local communities about endangered sites, and can help generate support to preserve these places.

Click here to view the 2014 Places In Peril listing.


Campbell Environmental Educational Center dedicated March 18

The Campbell Environmental Education Center was dedicated on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Pictured at event are, from top, Business Manger Lawson Edmonds, Asst. Director of Physical Plant Bobby Truelove, Vice President of Financial Affairs Raiford Noland, Director of Physical Plant Bob Holycross, Educational Asst. CSBB Rosa Hall, Dean-Division of Educational Outreach Dr. Tina Jones, Black Belt Museum Curator Dr. John Hall, UWA Special Administrator John Blackwell and wife, Shirley.

The Campbell Environmental Education Center was dedicated on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Pictured at event are, from top, Business Manger Lawson Edmonds, Asst. Director of Physical Plant Bobby Truelove, Vice President of Financial Affairs Raiford Noland, Campbell family friends Bill and Linda Virgin, Director of Physical Plant Bob Holycross, Educational Asst. CSBB Rosa Hall, Dean-Division of Educational Outreach Dr. Tina Jones, Black Belt Museum Curator Dr. John Hall, UWA Special Administrator John Blackwell and wife, Shirley.

The Campbell Environmental Education Center (CEEC) at the University of West Alabama was dedicated on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. on the Livingston campus.

The Campbell Environmental Education Center is home to offices of the Division of Educational Outreach’s Black Belt Museum and Black Belt Garden. In addition, an educational classroom and community meeting room (which is rentable to the public) are located in the building.

The former Campbell-Strickland House was built in southwest Sumter County in 1900 by Robert Campbell and Susan Alice Gully, and housed a family of eleven, including eight children and a local school teacher.

The house is divided into three sections, the left of which held (from back to front) a kitchen, a dining room, the teacher’s quarters, and Mrs. Campbell’s sun parlor where she painted and displayed her artwork. The front porch now extends across the entire length of the front of the house, replacing the sun parlor. However, the original windows that divided the sun parlor from the front room remain. These unusual windows recede into the attic space allowing them to be used as doorways.

The middle section of the house consisted of two large bedrooms that housed the five daughters of the family—Alice, Laura, Betty, Justina, and Sarah—while the right section of the house also consisted of two large bedrooms, the front one being for the family’s three boys (Bob, Slocum, and Wayne) and the back one being for Robert and Susan.

The house, with its white and green paint scheme, looks much like it did when first built.  The sun parlor, which was added later, was too badly deteriorated to move.  Stairs came off of the front porch in front of each breezeway. Paths from the stairways met at the gate of a long picket fence. The bed that was created by the front porch and pathways was filled with rose bushes and daffodils while the backyard was shaded by pecan trees. The Campbell’s ran a general store, situated nearby, along a road that ran in front of the house.

The house was donated in 2009 to the University by owners Larry and Crystal Strickland of York.

For information on the Campbell Environmental Education Center, please contact UWA’s Center for the Study of the Black Belt in the Division of Educational Outreach at (205) 652-3828.

Craft of twining explored in Moore’s book

Twined Bags: An Historical Finger-Weaving Craft of Native Americans contains 84 photos and illustrations. Over 9,000 years old, the craft of twining, according to archeological findings was once utilitarian. Be a part of the generation that is helping to keep this tradition alive. Easy-to-follow instructions, helpful hints and suggestions will enable you to learn the simple weaving technique known as twining.

Monica Moore is a living historian who practices the Native American skills of making twined bags and deer toe leggings shakers, for traditional stomp dancing. She is also the executive secretary at the University of West Alabama’s Division of Educational Outreach. For more information or to purchase a book, contact Moore at 205-366-2275, monica@twinedbags.com, and visit her website at www.twinedbags.com.



A review of  Twined Bags: An Historical Finger-Weaving Craft of Native Americans by Vincent Spiotti of Muzzleloader magazine can be viewed here.



© 2015 Center for the Study of the Black Belt