FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – A house, tucked away in the woods along Fly Creek near Scenic Highway 98, could soon be the focal point of a new public park in Fairhope. WKRG News 5 has been following this story for months since the project was first announced.

“Either as an outdoor classroom, or as the trail head, restroom facilities, meeting space,” said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan.

The house was donated to the city as part of a new nature park that will include walking and bike trails on the land near Veteran’s Drive known as the Triangle Property.

“During COVID we saw this is what people were looking for, so for economic development and just for our citizens people want to come do business in a city that offers this kind of recreation,” Sullivan explained.

The house is the latest addition as design teams continue laying out plans for the property. A $1 million GOMESA grant is allowing the city to develop the park. That’s the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act which allows those dollars to go towards conservation and restoration projects.

“It allows us to free up that money that we would have had to use to build something, so really excited about having that piece of property,” she said.

We should get our first look at conceptual drawings early next year. The nature park will be built in phases starting with the trails, likely taking several years to complete the full project.

“The design team is working really hard to determine where is the best place for parking. Do you need two places for parking on the Triangle Property? Where will the trails go? There’s some work that has to be done by ALDOT closer on Highway 98 that’s adjacent to that property,” Sullivan added.

The first phase could be completed by October of next year, although it’s too soon to know an exact date.