Adventure at Wolf Creek

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Adventures of Hope:

A Black Warrior Riverkeeper Intern’s Day at Wolf Creek

A story: that’s what I’m searching for. Working for Black Warrior Riverkeeper has certainly exceeded my expectations of the places I’ll visit during my time here. I’ve journeyed throughout the Black Warrior Watershed  we protect, but I’ve also expanded my limits into other areas of the state. This week I ventured into Pell City, located within the Coosa River Watershed.

I headed out to meet with Bob Griffin, the owner of Wolf Creek Creations and a great supporter of Black Warrior Riverkeeper. Personally, I was interested to see his work and understand his communications strategies for his long-standing business.

Upon my arrival, the first team members I met were Molly and Gus, a pair of large boxer pups. Shortly after being clobbered by the loveable duo, I was greeted by Jeanie and Mark, Bob’s two crew members. I had the chance to sit down and talk with them about their responsibilities at Wolf Creek Creations, and I found that they were eager to tell.

Mark works at Wolf Creek Creations during the summer and studies at Birmingham-Southern College for the rest of the year. Jeanie, on the other hand, works full time. She’s Bob’s second-in-command, and she knows everything that happens on site.



Then I met with Bob. While Black Warrior Riverkeeper purchases our promotional products from him, Bob generously designs our event posters pro-bono. I presented his latest design to him, signed and framed by the Birmingham rock band Earthbound.  He added it to his collection of previous designs for the annual Earthbound’s Earthfest fundraiser.

Bob also designed Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s logo, which depicts Chief Tushkalusa, namesake of both Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the Black Warrior River. In Choctaw, tushka means “warrior” and lusa means “black.”

He showed me his favorite and current projects, taught me a little about design and explained how his business began. An avid white-water canoer from a young age, Bob developed his eye for design from stickers. Having a passion for different designs, Bob decorated his canoe and car with different decals that he collected from races and equipment companies. Soon he snagged a screen-printing job at a t-shirt shop. Little did he realize that it would revolutionize his career.


Now Bob creates innovative designs for over 300 clients. From screen printing to sticker designs, he has been in the creative business for 28 years. His reach spans past the Pell City limits; Bob designs for clients in Birmingham, Decatur, Leeds, Oneonta, Talladega, and beyond. Among environmentalists and paddlers, his shirt designs have been especially linked with the Alabama Cup Association’s annual canoe and kayak races on the Black Warrior River’s Locust and Mulberry Forks.

Above everything, Bob says his greatest passion is his family. With a wife, three kids, two full-grown boxers and a business, Bob certainly lives a full life.

You can view (and purchase) Bob’s Black Warrior Riverkeeper shirts, hats, car tags and stickers here.

Author Hope Runyan, a senior at The University of Alabama, has received a grant from the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation to work with Black Warrior Riverkeeper. Runyan, a senior majoring in public relations, works for the organization as a communications intern throughout the summer. The grant, provided by a partnership between the Munson Foundation and The University of Alabama’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations, is the highest award given to a student in the College of Communication and Information Sciences. Read about all of Hope’s internship adventures here: 

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