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Support Needed to Preserve New Land on Chapman Mountain

May 28, 2019
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Land Trust of North Alabama has an incredible opportunity to expand Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve with the purchase of an additional 86 acres. This critical parcel, if preserved, could significantly increase the outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation area in this centrally located, mountainside northwest of downtown Huntsville off of Hwy 72. However, in order to purchase and preserve this new area of the mountain, the Land Trust must raise $80,000 by August 15.

Despite being so close to Huntsville, Chapman Mountain has remained an untouched woodland area for many years. Full of wildlife, hardwood trees, karst features, a variety of interesting plant life, and trails from earlier days, it was in danger of being purchased and developed. In 2001, the Land Trust began efforts to preserve the mountain and through the support of Terry Properties, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, and Vulcan Materials Company, the Land Trust was able to open Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve in 2018. This centrally located 371 acre preserve boasts an education pavilion and over three miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Through recent partnership with Alabama A&M University, the trail system is now being expanded to access 188 adjoining acres owned by the university. The addition of this new 86 acre portion of the mountain would significantly expand the preserved lands available for wildlife to safely live and travel in a heavily developed area of the community.

Why is this land acquisition critical?

New parcel holds Chapman Mountain’s only flowing spring.

This acquisition would significantly increase the natural corridor and habitat for wildlife. When combined with Alabama A&M University lands and the existing Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve, the total uninterrupted acreage would grow to approximately 650. Plants and animals would be provided a safe haven to live and an undisturbed space to migrate, feed, and flourish. On the existing Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve, local researchers have identified several occurrences of uncommon species so the neighboring property likely hosts similar flora deserving of protection. In addition, this new parcel holds the only flowing spring on Chapman Mountain. Water from the spring flows inconspicuously out of the depths of the mountain as it has for years. Remains of an old water cistern still exist, offering evidence of this life giving water’s role in times past.

Chapman Mountain currently offers over 3 miles of free public trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding but new land would offer new opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The addition of this new property would markedly enhance the space available for public recreation trails. Offering diverse terrain from mountainside slopes to flat forest land, Chapman Mountain is an ideal outdoor recreation destination for visitors of all skill levels and interests, only minutes from downtown Huntsville.

Environmental education opportunities for children and adults share the importance of protecting forests, fresh water, and wildlife habitat.

With more ground to cover and an historic spring area to explore, this expansion to Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve would provide exciting new opportunities for hands-on environmental education for children and adults alike. Chapman Mountain provides everything needed to host field trips inviting students to explore the connections between our land, our culture, and our history.

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