The Alpha Foundation has awarded the Land Trust of North Alabama a $22,000 grant to fund the creation of an accessible loop trail at our next public preserve – Bethel Spring Nature Preserve. This accessible loop will follow a creek overlooking working farmland and provide access to these natural areas for visitors with physical challenges.
Although the Land Trust currently offers seven public nature preserves – with over 70 miles of trails to explore – only Harvest Square Nature Preserve offers accessible trails. With 9% of the Madison County population under the age of 65 identified as having a disability (according to U.S. Census information for Madison County) and a growing elderly population, the Land Trust is making efforts to provide more opportunities for all people to access the benefits offered by nature. Before climbing the southern slopes of Keel Mountain, Bethel Spring Nature Preserve (located in New Hope) features an area of flat farmland that will provide the perfect landscape needed to create this type of trail.
“We feel that it’s important for everyone to be able to enjoy nature and experience all that it has to offer. We’re working to remove any barriers that make it more challenging for some.” says Marie Bostick, Land Trust of North Alabama Executive Director.
Grant funding provided by Alpha Foundation will cover the cost to develop a crushed stone accessible loop trail around the Bethel Spring’s former homestead and protected spring area. This 8 foot wide path will meander alongside a creek and farmed fields towards the spring house looping back to the parking area.
Want to help develop new trails at Bethel Spring Nature Preserve? Sign up for one of our upcoming trail care work days!
About The Alpha Foundation: Since its formation in 1997, the Alpha Foundation has been dedicated to improving the human condition. To this end, Alpha will select organizations to which grants will be made that further this objective. An emphasis will be placed on grants to educational, scientific, and charitable organizations. A major focus of Alpha’s support is biotechnology to aid in the discovery and cure of diseases. More information at www.alphafoundationhsv.org.