On Monday, September 13, 2010, John Wathen took a stroll through the M Bend park. You can see more photos from his stroll at his gallery. Here is what John had to say.
After the recent Tuscaloosa News articles concerning the M Bend of Hurricane Creek, I decided to take a walk out through Our Park.
I was very disappointed to find trash all along the trials and broken beer bottles on the beach. The sign clearly states none of this is allowed.
The road leading into the "Park" is in deplorable condition and eroding badly with every rain event. This is not the fault of PARA. ALDOT and the 5th division left this slope in this condition intentionally as a vendetta against local residents and the Friends of Hurricane Creek for daring to care enough to force ALDOT into compliance. The road needs repaired or closed off ASAP.
The above issues are reason enough for concern but what I found on the trail was alarming to say the least.
Many may remember last year when Alabama Power Company (APCO) took the liberty of destroying the old trail with bulldozers. When they repaired the road APCO and PARA both assured us that it would NOT be used as an access road to the power lines. There is only one structure on the lower level and many on the ridge above the creek. All could be accessed more easily from a top entrance but APCO refused to honor the landowners request that they keep his road free from damage or repair it if so. That turned out NOT to be the case. Just as in the sale of the land and the underhanded way it was handled, PARA did not keep their word and neither did APCO.
A huge amount of limestone was brought in and used to build a road durable enough for large truck bearing power poles to enter.
The erosion controls placed at the site have not been maintained and have fallen into disrepair. Large amounts of limestone are now in the creek. Limestone is a pH buffering agent. The water in Hurricane Creek basin is slightly acidic and should not have this amount of buffer introduced. It is now causing an Iron fall-out resembling Acid Mine Drainage similar to coal mine waste.
In all my years on Hurricane Creek and in this area in particular, I have never seen this until after APCO allowed the limestone to migrate into the creek in mass quantities. This must be fixed at once.
From the Creekkeeper,
Shortly after this complaint was filed, PARA addressed the problems aggressively and brought it under control. My deepest thanks to the fine folks at PARA for the immediate attention.