Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Brooks-Hummel Nature Preserve

The Fayetteville City Council last night approved the purchase of a new nature area of about 14 acres near Lake Lucile. The Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, the group that led the earlier move to acquire and preserve the Mount Sequoyah Woods natural area, calls the Brooks-Hummel tract a “hidden treasure, this beautiful, unspoiled woodland and meadow nestles in a valley between two ridges right in the middle of Fayetteville! This 13.75 acre tract lying North of Lake Lucille is teeeming with wildlife, the property includes a pond fed by Sublett Creek that runs through the valley. A wide variety of trees and other plant life, both aquatic and terrestial, abound on this beautiful tract.”

The Brooks-Hummel Nature Preserve will be purchased with a combination of private donations from local residents through the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, purchase of part of the property by the First Presbyterian Church, and five years of payments of about $70,000 per year from the city. To appreciate the urgency of this action, one only has to look at the visual and environmental damage and loss of tree canopy caused by the action of Central United Methodist Church on Lafayette Street or that rape of the landscape on the hillside east of College Avenue and south of Township Road. Thanks to those citizens who worked to identify and secure the purchase, preserving this natural oasis in the center of Fayetteville.

Alderman Bobby Ferrell of Ward Three was the only vote against the city purchasing and protecting the property as a nature preserve. His constituents should let him know whether they believe he represented their views or was acting on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and the developers.

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