By Gary Lloyd
PINSON — Turkey Creek Nature Preserve Manager Charles Yeager last week addressed the future of the preserve in a post at www.turkeycreeknp.wordpress.com.
Yeager writes that about 100,000 families, kids and outdoor enthusiasts pass through the preserve’s gates each year, yet donations are “almost never” received from the public.
“We have worked very hard to develop an experience for our guests that is unique in the state of Alabama and are constantly working to add new features that will further enhance that experience,” Yeager wrote. “However, in doing so, we have come up short in helping our visitors understand how we operate. The truth is that without more public support, TCNP could be forced to close its gates one day for good!”
There’s no admission to enter the preserve.
“We do receive some support through grant funding, which we work extremely hard to obtain,” Yeager wrote. “But those grants do not keep fuel in the lawnmowers, pay for trash bags, or pay our manager.”
Yeager wrote that the preserve receives about 30 percent of its annual budget from the city of Pinson, but the remaining 70 percent comes from the source that was originally developed to help start up the preserve. That source wasn’t intended to last more than two years, but it’s been stretched out over five years.
“Unfortunately, this source is just about gone and we are left with only one more year of funding,” Yeager wrote. “This is a pretty scary situation for everyone that is involved, and we have been working tirelessly to come up with a solution. The reality is, however, that if we do not start receiving more support from the people that use the Preserve, it might not continue to be available to them. This all comes across very dramatic, but it is true and something no one wants to see happen.”
The annual operational budget for Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is $60,000, much less than other parks or nature areas.
Yeager ended the post by writing that the only solution is for people who use the preserve to consider giving, “because if everyone who used the Preserve gave just a little, we would have no problems reaching our funding needs.”
For more information, visit http://turkeycreeknp.wordpress.com/support-2/.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.