Wood Duck Heritage Preserve needs your help

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The Friends of the Opelika Wood Duck Heritage Preserve and Siddique Nature Park greatly appreciate the coverage given to the City of Opelika’s U.S. 2011 Fish and Wildlife Service $70,000 Challenge Grant in recent editions of the Opelika Observer. Mara Hawks’ two excellent articles describing the development of the 85-acre Preserve and Nature Park along Waverly Parkway and the editorial board’s supportive column on the Opinion page last week were most gratifying.

As the Observer pointed out, the FRIENDS, a 501c(3) non-profit partner of the City of Opelika, has spent money and volunteered many hours building trails, clearing invasive plants, building nesting boxes and leading birding tours to the site. All of this contributes to meeting the city’s required $70,000 match. The value of work performed by the FRIENDS thus far is approximately $10,000. To build a parking lot, additional facilities and trails, the City of Opelika needs an additional $60,000 to match the Challenge Grant, which can be a combination of donated materials, volunteer time or money.

This is an opportunity for the business community and citizens of Opelika to participate in the creation of a first-class nature park and preserve that will be a valuable educational and recreational asset to the community. It will also contribute to the local economy by attracting visitors from Alabama and other Southeastern states.

For information on how to donate call (334) 749-0122, (334) 749-9170 or (334) 745-5131.

Sincerely,

Gene Hunter

Friends of Opelika Wood Duck Heritage

Preserve and Siddique Nature Park

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