Joe Rada, Freelance writer and editor, features Perry Lakes Park on his personal web site
Fox Channel 6 Park Video... Judson College Earth Team and the Birding Tower
The Friends of Perry Lakes Park Plead with Governor Robert Bently and Commissioner of Conservation, Mr. Gunter Guy, to establish this Park and the adjacent Marion Fish Hatchery woods as the First Alabama State owned "Wilderness." This designation would prevent any logging of any kind and would save this wonderful natural resource for Perry County and all people who love this swamp park.
Tuscaloosa News ... an interview with the AL Department of Conservation officials and with Thomas Wilson ( Jan. 2008)
Letter in Support of the Preservation of the Marion Fish Hatchery Woods and Perry Lakes Park...a response (posted with permission) to the above Tuscaloosa News article of 15 June, 2008
Alert...Warning! The Fisheries Section of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is considering logging the mature trees in the Marion Hatchery Woods. This warning is current until posted otherwise on this web site. I will post the State Management Plan when it is made available to the public. Thomas Wilson, 26 Sept., 2010.
Map of Proposed Logging of "Perry Lakes Park"
Here is one of the majestic 100+ year old Loblolly Pines that may be cut for cash. Loblolly pines are native trees of the Cahaba River bottomland forest. Imagine the damage to the Park that will be done by cutters, skidders, and logging trucks!
Recommendations for a forestry management plan for the Marion Hatchery Woods and for Perry Lakes Park ... made by the Friends of Perry Lakes Park
Thomas Wilson, Marion, AL
|Perry Lakes Park, the Barton's Beach
Cahaba River Preserve, and the Marion State Fish Hatchery represent wonderful
and exciting nature areas which provide outstanding opportunities for
recreation and education in a remote and undeveloped West Central Alabama old
growth river bottom. Visitors will experience exceptional birding, hiking,
interpretive nature trails, and recreational opportunities in the three
adjacent natural areas. The mature hardwood canopy of these ecosystems
represents a rarely experienced component of nature that is well worth
preservation and deserves a visit.
The Park gate is opened at sunup and is locked at sundown...every day of the year.
ATVs and horses are not allowed in the Park. We are trying to protect this natural environment for outdoor education and for research. Visitors and Park creatures deserve the peace and quiet of nature.
|There is no entrance fee to visit Perry Lakes
Park. We want the Park to be available to all citizens, especially the people
of the Black Belt region.
There is no budget for the Park. Volunteers designed, created, and maintain the Park.
Please follow the rules....especially the No ATVs in the Park rule.
The gate is locked at sundown... Read the sign!
Google Earth Image of Park Environment
Waymarking, Geocaching, Benchmarking in the Perry Lakes Park...maps, GPS numbers
The Perry Lakes Park (Recreational Area) project is a restoration and expansion of a park constructed in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Perry Lakes Park was closed in 1974 due to the theft of fish from the nearby State Hatchery.
The Park is located five miles east of Marion, near the State Fish Hatchery on State Hy 175.Perry Lakes Park is positioned between the Marion State Fish Hatchery and the Barton's Beach Cahaba River Preserve. The Park area was leased (20 yrs. beginning in 1999) from the Ala Department o f Conservation.
The four oxbow lakes of the Park and the bright white sand of Barton's Beach can be seen in this image.
A map of the Park is available in the Map Box at the entrance to the Park.
|ADECA and the U. S. Department
of the Interior designate Perry Lakes/Barton's Beach as a Cahaba River Nature
and Canoe Trailhead. Read this interesting sign about the
"Protection and Purpose of Perry Lakes
Judson College Earth Team member, Elizabeth Hinton and LEI participant take a close look at the Paw Paw tree fruit at the Paw Paw Bridge interpretivie area beside Eagle Trail.
|University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Outdoor
Action students conducted their fifth straight year of community service work
at Perry Lakes Park in August, 2011. Fifty students lead by Fran Oneil, Randy
Mecredy, UofA Natural History Museum Director, and Thomas Wilson of Judson
College, spend two days removing fallen trees from trails, mulching and marking
trails, repairing benches and mowing pathways. A long swim in the Cahaba River
at Barton's Beach at the end of the work day completed a great and productive
adventure for these students.
Outdoor Action 2011
|The Atamasco lily (right) is one of many nature
images taken by Curtis Miyasaka (3rd from right in above photo) in Perry Lakes
Park, Barton's Beach and the Golden Club Arum Swamp. Here are some of Curtis's
photos ... let's hope Curtis will spend many more days in the
Perry Lakes Park, Barton's Beach and the Golden Club Swamp .... images by Curtis Miyasaka.
Zephyranthes atamasco (L.) Herb.
West Alabama Sierra Club members visited the Park and nominated this Florida Maple to the State Champion Tree Program. The Sierra Club has adopted the Park as a preservation project. Dr. Wilson led the study tour. Carol Myer, Club President, is to Dr. Wilson's left (March, 08).
The Sierra Club has funded a bridge project in the Park. Watch construction of the
Sierra Club/Judson Earth Team Bridge.
Applied Botany students from Judson College, Stacy Lawton, Elizabeth Graverson, and Rikki Morrison, installed a tip box for the Park security guard. A project directed by Thomas Wilson, environmental advisor (Dec. 06).
The Atamasco Lily can be found in late March in many of the depressed, wet areas. This group of lilies is beside the Pawpaw Patch Bridge at the end of the Devil's Walking Stick trail...well worth the hike.
|Bald Eagles have nested in a giant Loblolly Pine
tree in the Marion Hatchery woods at the entrance to the Park since 2005
Greg Harber, Birmingham Audubon Society, took this image on Sunday, 29 Feb., 2006. Greg took the image of the Park birding tower (below).
|Judson College students Elizabeth
Graverson, Stacy Lawton, Kati Eubanks, Tiffany Jernigan and Melissa Adams enjoy
the view from the tower top. Ball Cypress trees present a soft texture to the
forest from 100 feet in the air. The mix of Swamp and Water Tupelo along with
Blackgum completes the oxbow lake swamp ecosystem of the Park.
||The Auburn Rural Studio Birding Tower is now open (22
Come look at the floodplain forest and the birds in the upper canopy from a view few people have experienced. Perry Lakes Park is a special place... we need to realize how wonderful and important this ecosystem is and do everything to protect and preserve the entire woods and recreation area.
|Canoeing and Birding the
Four Park Swamp Lakes
||60 Native Tree Species in Perry Lakes
Declining Species List
Barton's Beach Cahaba River Nature Preserve
|Students in the Judson College Chapter of the
Cahaba River Society study the river on another rewarding day with Randy
Haddock and Glen Black of the Cahaba River Society.
Barton's Beach Cahaba River Preserve contains the largest sand/gravel bar on the river. Beaver ponds, hardwoods, and occasional open areas add to the diversity of this area. The educational and recreational experiences available in this wild and scenic riverine and riparion ecosystem are limited only by one's imagination....more information
Breeding Bird List
Nature trails through a mature canopy, swamp lakes, hatchry ponds, and a beautiful gravel bar on the Cahaba River make the Marion State Hatchery/ Perry Lakes Park/Barton's Beach ecosystem an exciting place to visit. This list contain 206 species of birds.
Perry County, AL Bird List
The natural diversity of the park and the nature preserve makes this area special and well worth a visit!
Dr. Thomas Wilson