FOLEY — A land donation valued at more than $1 million will increase the size of Foley's Graham Creek Nature Preserve by more than 10%.The Foley City Council voted Monday, Feb. 6, to accept the …
FOLEY — A land donation valued at more than $1 million will increase the size of Foley's Graham Creek Nature Preserve by more than 10%.
The Foley City Council voted Monday, Feb. 6, to accept the donation of almost 80 acres of property from the Forestar Real Estate Group. The donation agreement stated that the value of the property was $1.4 million.
The donation in two parcels is on the northwest corner of the Graham Creek Preserve, according to city reports.
Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich said the property includes some of the area where Graham Creek originates.
"It's a good use to have it added to the park," Hellmich said. "It's a wetlands area that drains into our park, so it's important having the headwaters part of this."
Leslie Gahagan, city environmental director, said the property is near the southeast intersection of Baldwin County 12 and the Baldwin Beach Express.
She said the property owners are building a subdivision near the site, but could not build on the land, most of which is wetlands.
"They wanted to donate it and we were there, so it worked out," she said.
She said the city does not have specific plans for the new property, but the land will be a good addition to the preserve.
The company is building the Roberts Cove subdivision next to the donated property. The development includes more than 350 lots, according to city reports.
Before the donation, the Graham Creek Nature Preserve included about 600 acres of property. The site is dedicated to the preservation of native plants and wildlife.
The preserve also includes 10 miles of trail, two handicap-accessible boardwalks, a kayak launch, and four disc-golf courses. The facility also includes an archery park and an outdoor classroom.
The city of Foley and Riviera Utilities bought 484 acres of property for $5.6 million in 2004 to establish the reserve. Since then, the facility has expanded with the acquisition of additional property.