The mission of the Cahaba Environmental Center is to inspire and empower learners of all ages to become stewards of the natural world by connecting them to the Cahaba River. The Cahaba Environmental Center (CEC) is the flagship education program of 501(c)(3) Living River, a residential center nestled within a deep bend of the Cahaba River between Shelby and Bibb Counties. Living River was officially established in 2008 to provide a variety of outdoor experiences for individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and faiths. While enjoying the outdoors, time at Living River is focused on reflection, renewal, and connection to nature, which we hope will lead to environmental responsibility and stewardship.
Under the Living River umbrella, the CEC is focused on inspiring students of all ages to become stewards of the natural world through hands-on, experiential environmental science programming that connects them to the Cahaba River. Our environmental education program offers students from schools across Alabama the opportunity to live and study for 3-5 days at our center, exploring standards-aligned content while utilizing the US’s fifth most ecologically diverse river and surrounding forest as a classroom and laboratory. In this unique environment, traditional classroom learning is brought to life through full immersion into, and hands-on exploration of, the natural world. Beyond providing a deep connection to place, the CEC also facilitates social and emotional learning, connecting students to their peers and to themselves.