The Azalea Cascade Boardwalk Trail at DeSoto State Park in North Alabama will be renamed the Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail in honor of the former DeSoto superintendent. The public is invited to a short ceremony to be held at the boardwalk trailhead on Saturday, October 9, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. After the ceremony, the public is invited to a reception honoring Butler at the lodge at 2:15 p.m. Finger food and punch will be served.
Butler, who retired in February 2010, is a 37-year veteran of Alabama State Parks, 17 of which he served as superintendent at DeSoto. His achievements include the Little River Canyon Cleanups, which united a group of rescue squads and volunteers with technical rope skills in an effort to remove trash from Little River Canyon. Butler also worked with the U.S. National Guard and its sky crane helicopters to remove more than 130 abandoned vehicles from the bottom of Little River Canyon.
“Mr. Butler’s strong sense of community service to Fort Payne and DeKalb County left a positive indelible mark on DeSoto State Park during his many years as superintendent,” said Ken Thomas, current DeSoto State Park Superintendent. “His mentoring skills and sense of community prepared us for the challenges involved in managing an Alabama State Park.”
The Azalea Cascade Boardwalk Trail was one the first of its kind in DeSoto, and Butler was instrumental in its creation. In an effort to build a boardwalk over otherwise difficult to access terrain, Butler helped to raise $30,000 in materials to build the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible trail that spans 1,000 feet and includes a large viewing deck at the azalea cascade. The trail was dedicated on May 31, 1997, and continues to be a popular attraction at Desoto.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .