FOLEY, Ala. (WALA) – On a sticky Monday afternoon, there weren’t too many people at the Graham Creek Nature Preserve besides Paula Keefe and her granddaughter, Avery.
But Keefe, who lives just around the corner from the preserve said she’s all for improvements that bring more people.
“I think the more opportunity people can utilize this beautiful piece of property I think the better,” Keefe said.
However, not everyone in the neighborhood is on board for that. Hence the vote held Monday night, which approved the formation of an advisory committee for the preserve.
“I think there’s enough public outcry to form the committee and move forward with getting those on board before we get too far along with the designs with the building,” Lesley Lassitter Gahagan, Foley’s Environmental Manager, said.
That building is the site’s pending interpretive center, which will expand the learning opportunities for the preserve.
“(It’s) a large enough building to not only have the interpretive area with the educational displays, but also to have classrooms, a few offices and a laboratory area. We can host very small events, community meetings, community gatherings and things of that nature,” she said.
Pun intended, of course. But some are concerned that opening up the preserve to more events like a national archery tournament in 2016 will cause too much traffic and would disrupt the plants and animals.
But Lassiter Gahagan has an answer for that too.
“We’ve been working on Philomene Holmes Boulevard, which originates right off the Beach Express off of Roscoe Road. It travels through the preserve on a natural high ridge back up to Wolf Bay Drive and the interpretive center will be located on that road,” she said.
“It just will probably be a great opportunity for people in Foley and even the people coming vacationing or have events like triathlons. I think it would be great,” Keefe said.
Lassiter Gahagan told Fox10 News that the city council will appoint members to that committed in the next city council meeting.