by Sherry Lynn Gros for The HIghland Park Review
Years ago we had a public conversation with Arlene D, resident of Lake View West Subdivision next to HIghland Park Subdivision in West Mobile Alabama, said, “If the dam falls they won’t let us build it back because they (the County) said it should never have been built to begin with.” [sic]. So we all knew if that dam fell it wasn’t coming back. Now we’ve been told by the State of Alabama the best path forward is to restore the park and make a nature preserve. That is the goal of Highland Park Community Association, owner of the now dry lake bed with ever-flowing spring fed creek. Here is a picture of Muddy Creek in Theodore, Alabama and there are many examples in Alabama of lovely nature preserves where the State of Alabama helps landowners manage and maintain beautiful green spaces. So, start moving your minds around the idea that HPca will be managing their lands as a Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary in partnership with a municipal or government agency to preserve it forever in its natural state. Right now it’s going wild to woods with a creek running through it. That’s okay too. But if we don’t manage it as a nature preserve developers will come in and develop on it anyway. It would be nice to have an eagle/Osprey tower, maybe a walking path, some landscaping and security lighting with cameras at the Park in our very own neighborhood. But it is not going to be a lake; the lake is gone forever for now. There is no support for proper, safe maintenance or management of a lake. There is no financial support for a lake. The County, City, and State do not support a lake. We will keep our easements for future development and to keep access to the area for fishing as the creek banks are restored, etc. Our easements run across Spring Lake subdivision and alongside Bamboo Steakhouse restaurant, and along the West Side Park. Bamboo and Springlake would like our easements to go away I’m assuming. We’ll see if they push for that through the courts now that we all know the lake isn’t coming back. Anyone who would like to be involved in the development of the Nature Preserve at Highland Park and Optimist Lake at Milkhouse Creek please volunteer to support the effort today.