North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 10, 2014

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve nominates land for large expansion project

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

PINSON — The Turkey Creek Nature Preserve in Pinson could expand its boundaries greatly in the near future.

Preserve manager Charles Yeager told the Pinson City Council in last Thursday’s regular meeting that a nomination had been submitted to the Forever Wild nature conservancy, which owns the preserve land, to purchase a 244-acre parcel that lies to the south of the current preserve land. The parcel is owned by the Shepherd family.

“It is largely untouched, except for a small portion that the family has been farming,” Yeager said. “Their are massive persimmon trees and oak trees, and towering lone pines.”

If the purchase goes through, Yeager said the land would be used primarily for mountain-biking trails.

“We’ve talked to the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers, who designed many of the trails at Oak Mountain State Park... and they’ve pinpointed about 11 miles worth of trails,” Yeager said. “That compares to about 4½ miles of trails in our current property.”

If approved, the acquisition process would take about a year.

Yeager said that about 100,000 people visited the preserve in 2013, making it the most-visited tract of land owned by Forever Wild.

In other business, Councilor Robbie Roberts mentioned that several local residents had complained about an unsolicited weekly publication being dropped in their driveways. The circular is published by the Alabama Media Group, the corporate parent of The Birmingham News, and contains advertisements which are distributed to homes which don't subscribe to the thrice-weekly newspaper.

“They’ve also been putting them in front of homes that are unoccupied, and as a result they’re piling up,” Roberts said.

Roberts said he had talked with an AMG official about the problem, and found out that the company had a plan to deal with that issue, but had problems with the contractors who actually distribute the circulars. “In real life, the plan is not working out,” Roberts said.

Mayor Hoyt Sanders directed the city attorney to see whether any city littering laws could be applied to solve the problem.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a resolution to authorize Call-a-Haul for on-call debris removal service

• Heard the first reading of an amended resolution to change the name of Center Point Road and Center Point Parkway to Pinson Boulevard

• Approved a change in plans for the playground of the proposed city park, which changes the surface from loose material to poured-in-place rubber

• Heard Sanders recommend the purchase of a Cub Cadet all-terrain vehicle to replace one stolen from the Pinson Valley Youth Association

• Heard Sanders recommend the appointment of Suzanne Bobo to run the city’s farmers market.