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Press Release

Black Belt Birding Trail Gets Early Start

June 13, 2005

Agreement to be signed June 15 at Holy Ground Battlefield Park

An agreement to construct birdwatching facilities at the Holy Ground Battlefield Park will be signed between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on Wednesday, June 15. The event will take place at the park at 9 a.m. The facility is poised to become a stop along the yet to be developed Black Belt Birding Trail.

The complete route for the Black Belt Birding Trail has not been determined, but the Corps and ADCNR have agreed to begin work on facilities at the park. A kiosk, interpretive exhibits, map displays and an observation deck are to be part of the birding project.

Birding is becoming a popular pastime for many, and Alabama has much to offer with more than 400 species of birds that reside here or migrate through the state. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nearly one-third of Americans age 16 and older – more than 66 million – photographed, fed, or observed wildlife in 2001 and spent $40 billion in association with birding activities. In Alabama, this currently amounts to $34 million per year in visitor spending.

The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail has been in place in Baldwin and Mobile counties for several years. A North Alabama Birding Trail consisting of 50 sites in 11 counties is set to officially open in September. The new partnership between ADCNR and the Corps of Engineers is the beginning of the same type of project for Central Alabama. The presence of a birding trail will provide this growing segment of outdoor enthusiasts with a quality wildlife experience as well as giving a significant economic boost to Black Belt communities.

Holy Ground Battlefield Park is a day use area and offers a swimming beach, boat launching ramp, playground, restrooms, shelters, a multi-purpose court, a nature trail and an observation deck overlooking the scenic Alabama River. The addition of site improvements for birdwatching will increase recreational opportunities for the public.

Directions to Holy Ground Battlefield Park
Holy Ground Battlefield Park is located on Highway 40 east of Prairie Creek Campground. To get to Prairie Creek Park from Montgomery, follow Highway 80 west about 25 miles; turn right on County Road 29 and follow the signs. From Selma, follow Highway 80 east 25 miles; turn left on County Road 40 and follow the signs.

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 Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Click here to learn more about birding in Alabama.

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