Tuscaloosa will soon be home to it's very own Eco trail in a very popular park.

Van de Graaff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park

The Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority recently announced the grand opening of an Eco Trail to be housed at Van de Graaff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park, which can be found not fair from the Tuscaloosa National Airport.

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“An Eco Trail brings environmental awareness by showcasing the unique aspects of your surroundings,” PARA Director of Park Operations Adrian Cleckler-Collins said in a press release sent to Townsquare Media. “'Eco' refers to the park’s unique 141-acre wetland ecosystem which combines aspects of land and water to create a distinctive habitat where certain plant and animal species are protected and can flourish,” she said.

A brief ceremony will be held on April 4 at noon in the park located at 3231 Robert Cardinal Airport Road. The event is free and open to the public.

VDG Park’s Eco Trail represents a collaboration between PARA, the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama’s Department of Art & Art History and UA's Department of Biological Sciences. The collaboration adds four custom installations which include trail signage with informational placards on metal sculpture stands, entrance signage, and a pedestrian bridge.

“Each year the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa Morning is able to match funds from our Rotary district to do projects in our local area," Rotary Club President Bill Petty said. "We chose PARA to assist them in updating the trail that was built and it was renamed the Eco Trail sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa Morning. The club hopes that this trail will enhance visitors’ understanding of what Mother Nature shows them throughout the trail for years to come.”

New installations will concentrate on birds, reptiles, insects and fungi. The stands, which will also feature bronze relief sculptures, were designed and constructed by Wedderspoon and students in the UA Department of Art & Art History.

The informational placard descriptions installed on the stands were researched and written by staff of the UA Department of Biological Sciences. PARA Park Operations managed the project’s construction and installation.

PARA welcomes visitors to VDG Park 6 a.m. to dusk, daily. More information about the park can be found by visiting Tcpara.org/p/van-de-graaff-arboretum.

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