Doug Morrison appointed as Nature Preserve Manager + more exciting news for Big Canoe Creek Nature Preserve

Doug Morrison. Big Canoe Creek Nature Preserve
Doug Morrison (L), longtime nature advocate and conservationist stands by a Sweetgum tree. (Karl Peters)

Springville City Council announced several exciting nature-oriented developments at their meeting on Monday, June 6, including appointing Doug Morrison, former President of Friends of Big Canoe Creek, as the Nature Preserve Manager for Springville. Read on for more details.

A local nature hero

Big Canoe Creek Nature Preserve
A serene view of Big Canoe Creek. (Liz Brooke)

Longtime local nature advocate Doug Morrison is as humble as they get. Even when given the opportunity, he doesn’t brag about himself or his accomplishments—but friends and colleagues alike know him as a nature hero.

“Coosa Riverkeeper is so excited that the Big Canoe Creek Nature Preserve now has Doug as its first preserve manager. From the very beginning of our organization (which Doug helped found) Doug has been a tireless champion for Big Canoe Creek and the Coosa River. We can’t wait to get to work together to raise awareness about the importance of this creek to the Coosa River and the Springville area.”

Justinn Overton, Executive Director, Coosa Riverkeeper

As former Board President for The Friends of Big Canoe Creek from 2008-2020, Morrison has worked hard on the Big Canoe Creek Nature Preserve from its inception.

Morrison has been as hands-on as it gets to see the project through, from stewarding the preserve to championing its acquisition to Forever Wild, the state of Alabama’s land conservation program. It’s no wonder then, why Mayor Dave Thomas hired him as the Nature Preserve Manager for the City of Springville.

“While serving as President of Friends of Big Canoe Creek, Doug Morrison led a grassroots effort to protect this beloved and environmentally important property that was purchased by Forever Wild in 2018.  As the new Nature Preserve Manager for Springville, we have no doubt that Doug will be successful in opening a wonderful preserve that residents and visitors will truly enjoy.”

Liz Sims, Conservation Director, Freshwater Land Trust

Morrison is thrilled to be taking on the position.

“I am still pinching myself that the good folks in the City of Springville, the Council and Mayor have made this position available and entrusted me to continue the work I have been doing for the last 14 years. I want to continue networking with others to teach all walks of life how truly incredible the great state of Alabama is. I believe spending time outdoors in nature does wonders for your soul, but we also need to teach folks what they can do to protect and nurture our environment, land, water and skies. We can do more to educate our young folks about our incredible biodiversity and this Preserve can be a great place to learn.” 

Doug Morrison, Nature Preserve Manager, City of Springville

Design company on board

Appointing Morrison as the Nature Preserve Manager wasn’t the only good news regarding the Big Canoe Creek Nature Preserve. According to the Trussville Tribune, Springville City Council has also approved a $5,200 contract with Macknally Land Design to design signage for the entrance of the preserve.

Macknally Land Design has helped with the preserve’s master plan, as well as surveyed the community to gain input on what they want to see in the development. They’re currently continuing to help develop new trails and map out the land.

The funds are readily available, as the contract was budgeted through a $25,000 grant that the preserve received from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham for the entrance road, sign and gate.

New horseback riding and hiking trails are something to look forward to as this Forever Wild project continues to develop.

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Gabby Gervais
Gabby Gervais
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