Turkey Creek in north Jefferson County is home to not only one, but three endangered species of fish, including one found nowhere else on the planet.
Meanwhile, the nature preserve just north of Birmingham that bears the same name is drawing ever-larger crowds who come to enjoy the creek’s pristine waters, the preserve’s hiking and biking trails and the popular swimming hole that stays refreshingly cool on even the hottest summer days.
Protecting the preserve’s delicate and important habitat while accommodating people who want to enjoy its natural beauty is a delicate balance. So is finding ways to cover the ongoing costs of maintaining the preserve.
A new classroom pavilion under construction at the 466-acre Turkey Creek Nature Preserve will hopefully provide a revenue source sustaining the preserve while also offering an eco-friendly amenity to further the preserve’s education mission. A recent grant under the public-private Five Star program will support the project in a way that protects the preserve – and the rare creatures that inhabit it.