Protection and Preservation of the Mature Forest

at the Perry Lakes Park/Marion Fish Hatchery

Marion, Perry County, Alabama

Alert! Warning! Mature Trees at the Marion Hatchery Woods may be Logged! 19 August 2011

You can help save this endangered hardwood floodplain habitat. Please write a letter or send the letters provided by this web site:

Letter to Governor Bentley

Letter to Commissioner Guy

Judson students beside the Marion State Hatchery Sign

Judson College students often conduct internships at the Marion State Fish Hatchery. The approximate 900 acres of Hatchery area with the adjacent Perry Lakes Park and the Barton's Beach Cahaba River Nature Preserve offers outstanding opportunities for nature studies. Perry Lakes Park and the Hatchery woods ecosystem is the only nature based recreational area provided to the county by the State of Alabama.
woods by hatchery office
woods on hill behind Hatchery office

The Park/Hatchery/Barton's Beach nature area with its mature canopy forest is very important to impoverished West Central Alabama. The opportunities for outdoor education and recreation in an unusual and rare hardwood habitat is a source of encouragement and pride for the local people.
View of Hatchery office with wooded hill in background
View of Hatchery ponds and the eagle nesting tree from office.
Black-eyed susans bloowing on edge of Hatchery pond.
Black-eyed Susans and other wildflowers grow on the edges of the Hatchery ponds. A complete experience in nature can be realized with a visit to the Hatchery/Park/Bartons Beach Preserve.

Marion and Perry County people are counting on this hardwood forest park system to be a significant part of the growing ecotourism industry of the area. People will come and see the beautiful fall colors of the hardwoods presented by the giant trees in our wonderful woods.
Marion Hatchery Office
Marion State Hatchery drive
Woods along Hwy beside the Hatchery Office
Hatchery pond and western edge of Park woods
Woods above the Hatchery Office
Woods beside Hatchery Office
The Hatchery environment contains mature hardwoods and giant native loblolly pines along with many other interesting trees. The understory has woodland plants that are not commonly seen in cutover areas.
Decaying log in woods above Hatchery Office

The mature forest canopy creates a complete ecosystem. The rich organic matter of the forest floor provides a place for unusual and brightly collored fungi and parasitic plants. The carbon cycle is well demonstrated by the events taken place on this rotten log.

Thomas Wilson birding in woods above Hatchery Office

The view of the floodplain hardwood forest is exceptional on the small "mountain" above the Hatchery Office.
Birds seen on the Hatchery and Park areas
Birding is exceptional in the area because of the hatchery ponds, the oxbow swamps and the mature tree canopy. A pair of eagles nested in 2005 in the tall pines beside the hatchery ponds.

An official bird list of 206 species from this area reflects the quality of the woods for the sport of birding. A 100 ft tall birding tower opened in February, 2006.

The Park's well-designed system of trails and the riverene environment of the Cahaba River add access and diversity to the ecosystem.
Road into Park woods behind Hatchery ponds
Road into Park woods behind Hatchery ponds
The many open areas within the forest environment along with the adjacent farm land create a vigorous wildlife habitat for deer and other forest animals. Deer hunters maintain large food plots along the forest edge of the property. Several miles of wide fire lanes and a gravel road wind through out the Park and property. Recent hurricanes and several tornadoes have felled many large trees and further opend the canopy for wildlife.
Woods of Hatchery area
Hatchery woods
It is critical that this mature tree canopy receive legal protection that would prevent any harvesting of timber or alteration of the forests. A type of protection that would shelter it as a type of wilderness where trees are allowed to mature, die, and fall to the earth. A type of protection that would prevent the logging or collecting of trees blown to the ground by storms.
Perry Lakes Park road
Tupeol bottom of Perry Lakes Park

This ecosystem is a precious part of our natural heritage and it must be respected as a museum of nature...a place to learn, admire, and a place to be part of the world of trees, birds, and other creatures of the wild.

The wonderful woods and flora of the Hatchry Woods, Perry Lakes Park and Barton's Beach Preserve can be seen on their web sites:
For more information, contact:
Dr. Thomas Wilson