Land added to Old Cahawba

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

OLD CAHAWBA — The Alabama Forever Wild Program’s addition of 3,007 acres adjoining the Old Cahawba State Park “may just become a model for recovery in America,” one official said Tuesday at the ceremony announcing the land purchase.

Linda Derry, archeological site director, said, “Tourists are starving for authenticity, and we’re just overflowing with it.”

Alabama Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley is the board chair for Forever Wild. He praised the group’s purchase of land adjoining Old Cahawba State Park and two other area purchases.

“Forever Wild has been and continues to be a great program for the state of Alabama,” he said. “This new purchase at Old Cahawba State Park is a great example of what Forever Wild strives to do, which is to preserve and to expand access to the public so that they can enjoy God’s earth, and I’m glad that we’re able to come together to showcase the good it’s doing.”

The other two purchases were 1,343 acres at the Lowndes County Management Area and 4,328 acres at the Old Cattle Ranch in Hale County.

Chris Oberholster, executive director of the Nature Conservancy, said, “Alabama is one of the top five states in biological diversity.”

He said, however, more needs to be done.

“Forever Wild protects our national heritage,” he said. “And it is boosting tourism and improving the quality of life.”

The celebration also included the opening of a handicapped-accessible paved trail and canoe access point at Ole Cahawba State Park funded by Alabama Power Co.