Lauren Allred is an Alabama native of Anniston, AL. She earned her B.S.E. in Elementary and Collaborative Education and her M.S.E. in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University located in Jacksonville, AL. She previously taught at The Donoho School in Anniston, AL before becoming a part of the Living River team. Lauren grew up in the camping program of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley and is thrilled to marry her love of camp, being outdoors, and education as the Director of the Cahaba Environmental Center. While teaching ancient world history, Lauren gained a deep appreciation for the importance of rivers throughout the world and their impact on human civilization and growth. She is excited to join others who are passionate about passing on a love of nature and educating others about the importance of the Cahaba River. Lauren has fond memories of the history of Living River which include digging ditches at the inaugural senior high work camp on the Living River land, wielding a gold shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony, and taking the first selfie in the John Jenkins Cabin. She looks forward to welcoming others to make their own memories at the CEC. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys kayaking, hiking, reading, and traveling.
Jecca is from Tampa, Florida and is a recent transplant to Birmingham, Alabama. From scuba diving to sky diving and everything in between, she loves trying new things and adventures. As a native Floridian she grew up fishing, kayaking, camping, and exploring her marine rich environment. Her love of the outdoors and passion for wildlife led her to study Environmental Science at the University of South Florida. While still earning her degree, she began working at a marketing firm, gaining valuable knowledge in the industry. After graduation she started her journey in the environmental field as a chemist in an environmental water testing facility. She worked for three years as a supervisor and successfully managed the organic pesticides and radio-chemistry departments in the lab. Upon displacement by Irma from Tampa to Alabama, Jecca decided to pursue a new path with a vision to educate and inspire youth to appreciate nature as much as she does. She loves exploring in her new stomping grounds of one of the most biodiverse locations in Alabama (and the nation), and she enjoys hiking and discovering the U.S.'s best kept secret: Alabama the beautiful!
Anne was born and raised in the south, and harbors an intense passion for animals, the southern heat, and all things outdoors. She spent most of her childhood in Wartrace, TN, where her love for the outdoors was fostered by living on 32 acres of land with no neighbors. She graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and decided to follow her passion of working outside and traveling, leading her to an outdoor education center in New York called Clearpool. After realizing how rewarding working in nature was, she has only had jobs that require her to be outside! Her dual passions of education and the outdoors have taken her to the Tennessee Division of Forestry to fight the hemlock woolly adelgid and to the Southeast Conservation Corps leading a youth camping crew for five weeks. She is excited to continue educating in the outdoors and learning from new faces and cultures all the while! Her favorite hobbies include hiking, backpacking, camping, photography, writing, watching movies, trail building, jewelry making, continuing renovations on a van that took her on a cross country trip this summer, spending time with her dog Reggie, listening and dancing to music, and anything that has to do with being outside and working with kids!
Hiram was born and raised in the countryside of Georgia and showed a love of wildlife and the outdoors since he could crawl. Before he could read, he devoured as many books and magazines with pictures of animals he could get his hands on. Once he learned how to read, however, he became known to peers and teachers alike both for his “thirst” for knowledge and his passion for sharing it. In high school he took his first steps as an educator by co-directing the Nature Area of Sidney Dew Boy Scout Camp, while completing his Eagle Scout with a Wetlands Area renewal project which doubled as another educational opportunity for younger scouts. In his senior year, he was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, Vice-Chief of Fellowship in the Order of the Arrow, and the George A. Dorsey Award for “Love of All Living Things”. He was also the Teen Chairman for McKeever’s First Ride, working with mobility challenged youth and helping them discover the benefits of equine therapy and companionship. After high school he attended the University of Georgia, pursuing multiple avenues of public outreach and education in Entomology. He pursued his Bachelors in Entomology and participated in several research programs, including Carpenter Bees and Aphid Symbiotes. Along with his love of nature, he also pursues his passion of writing through an ongoing epic fantasy saga. In his spare time, Hiram enjoys music, photography, Shinrin-yoku, swimming, and anime.
Matthew is a proud Alabama native with a passion for working with young people and a fullhearted belief in the healing power of laughter. In recent years, he has worked as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy program in the mountains of Georgia, served as co-director for a social justice leadership camp in central Alabama, taught US History for a traveling school in New England, and co-founded a nonprofit in Birmingham, Alabama that aims to provide easy access to social emotional learning opportunities. While in college, Matthew also served as an AmeriCorps member and traveled to local schools to facilitate discussions on dating violence prevention and crisis management. In his free time, he enjoys digging in the garden, exploring the great outdoors, and working on renovations to the hundred-year-old mountain top bungalow that he calls home.
Cahaba Environmental Center 2000 Living River Parkway Montevallo, AL 35115 Email: email@example.com Phone: 205.208.0035 ext. 1