The Land Trust of North Alabama received one of its largest land donations ever last week when John and Kathy Garrett recently donated Garrett Refuge, 176 acres of undeveloped land.
The land is part of the Piney Creek Complex, which flows south into Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.
What is Garrett Refuge?
The Garrett family has owned the land since the mid-1800s, according to a report by The News Courier. The family has maintained the land’s natural wetland and marsh features, and the land provides a habitat for diverse plant and animal life, especially aquatic and avian species and pollinators.
Garrett Refuge is currently closed to the public but provides future opportunities for public recreation and environmental education for locals and visitors.
Plans for Garrett Refuge moving forward
The donation was made via a life estate, allowing the the Garretts to continue living on the land. Following their deaths, the property will transfer to the Land Trust of North Alabama. The Land Trust will monitor the use of the property to ensure its environmental value remains preserved and the scenic land remains intact.
Currently, no specific plans have been made for the land, but the donation ensures the land will remain undeveloped and will provide future opportunities for public access.
“We have been so blessed by both our Heavenly Father and earthly ancestors. Now is our time to be able to honor them. The Creek Field (Garrett Refuge), as we have called it, is a special place that deserves to be preserved. We look forward to working with the Land Trust to plan for giving future generations the opportunity to enjoy it as much as we have.”Jon and Kathy Garrett