SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s not much to look at now, but the City of Spanish Fort has a vision for 144 acres just south of Bay Minette Creek along Highway 225.

“It’s huge for our city, first off it’s going to give us a 144-acre park,” said Mayor Mike McMillian. “That’s big for a city. We’ve got to develop it. We’ve got to develop a master plan.”

The $8.5 million purchase was made two weeks ago thanks to funding awarded last year through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA. McMillan said the grant has allowed the city to invest in the property, with plans to build a public park and nature center with views west towards the downtown Mobile skyline.

“It’s an absolutely gorgeous piece of property,” said McMillian. “Walking trails, picnic areas, a fishing pier, kayak rentals. Preserve the park for the citizens for not only Spanish Fort, but Baldwin County because this is big.”

Right now the property is not easy to access and it could take years before the project is completed. Before any plans can be drawn and before any real work can actually begin, a historical survey has to take place at the site along with other steps to make sure history isn’t lost.

“You know all the civil war battles and those kinds of things. We’ve got to preserve it and do it the right way,” said McMillan.

The city also has plans of building a public park near R&R Seafood on the causeway. “It’s an ongoing process. It’s just another step in developing the city,” said McMillian.

Stay ahead of the biggest stories, breaking news and weather in Mobile, Pensacola and across the Gulf Coast and Alabama. Download the WKRG News 5 news app and be sure to turn on push alerts.