Morgan Grove Nature Area now open to the public
Southern Conservation Trust officially opened its fourth public nature preserve, Morgan Grove Nature Area, to the public this month.
Numerous community leaders and the Fayette Chamber of Commerce were on hand to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the nature area’s grand opening. Boy Scouts presented the American Flag and led the Pledge of Allegiance. The ribbon was cut by Southern Conservation Trust Board Chair, Jerry Peterson and Executive Director, Pam Young with Trust board members, community leaders and chamber members looking on. Land donors Brent Scarbrough (represented) and Tom Chandler were also present as their vision of a conserved, public nature area became a reality.
The remote 60-acre property near the Flint River in east Fayette County gives visitors a first-hand glimpse of a retired logged hardwood forest surrounded by a flourishing wetland habitat. The Trust is enhancing the site based on the property’s most recent land management history. By establishing part of the nature area as a reforestation demonstration site, the Trust hopes to educate the community about sustainable forestry practices.
The Morgan Grove Nature Area showcases both natural forest re-generation and active management. The reforestation project actually began in the fall, with help from many individual volunteers of Fayette County Rotary Clubs; many Rotarian volunteer hours have been dedicated to planting Longleaf, Shortleaf and Loblolly Pines.
Visitors can explore the lush greenery and spot wildlife while meandering through a well-designed network of nature trails, a wetland boardwalk, and an observation deck. A native grass meadow of tall grasses and wildflowers serves as an ideal habitat for birds, reptiles and small-medium sized mammals. Additional improvements such as planted food plots, and bat and bird boxes will help attract additional wildlife.
The grand opening represents completion of Phase 1of the park development. This initial phase was accomplished thanks to dedicated volunteers, community support and grants from the Waterfall and Charter Foundations. Additional elements will be added as resources are secured. If you are interested in how you can help, or to download a trail map, visit sctlandtrust.org.
The new Morgan Grove Nature Area is located in east-central Fayette County near the Flint River. From the square in Fayetteville, take Hwy 54 east 0.3 miles and turn right on South Jeff Davis Rd. At 0.2 miles, turn left; continue on South Jeff Davis Rd 3 miles. Turn right on Inman Rd. At 1.6 miles, turn left on Morgan Road. Entrance is on the right at 0.5 miles. South Jeff Davis, Inman and Morgan Road are all paved county roads and provide all-weather access to the property.