A planned limestone quarry near Ragland could come with a 140-acre nature preserve just upstream in St Clair County, according to a public notice by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The Ragland-based National Cement Co. of Alabama has spent two years planning the quarry and park which would be created near Mitchell Mountain along tributaries that feed into the Coosa River, plant manager Jean-Claude Brocheton said.
Brocheton said National Cement is owned by a French company that has done similar nature preserve projects in Europe, but never before in the U.S.
"We’re very excited," he said.
Brocheton said National Cement will pay for the development of Blue Springs Nature Preserve and then donate the land to a nonprofit organization created specifically for the park. He said it would provide opportunities for tourism and environmental education with local students.
"This piece of land is a gorgeous area with many species of animals and flowers," Brocheton said.