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Will Underwood of ADCNR at the Holmes property

The Holmes property – Magnolia Springs

“We are very pleased that after all these years we can preserve it for generations to come,” Broox Holmes said of the decision he and his brothers, W.C. Holmes, Jr. and James Holmes, made to protect their Magnolia Springs riverfront property from development. “It’s good for the community.”

Will Underwood, State Lands Section administrator for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and acting manager for the Weeks Bay Reserve, agrees. “This is a great thing they are doing,” he said. “DCNR and the Reserve are always looking for significant pieces of land, but the Holmes property is one of those pieces that sticks out as a real gem. It’s one of the largest pieces of undeveloped land in the area. It has a diversity of habitats, so it’s got a lot of habitat value. Even though it has a lot of waterfront, is also has a pretty high elevation.”

The 91-acre parcel includes 7,000 feet of shoreline on the Magnolia River and a combination of tidal marsh and uplands. The property, surrounded by Weeks Creek to the south and Bemis Bay to the north, had been in the Holmes family for roughly 80 years.

Underwood points out that the South Alabama Land Trust plays a key role in the ability to purchase parcels like this one.

“There is a delicate balance between land we’d love to preserve and our ability to be good stewards of it,” Underwood explained. “Having the land trust as a partner to take advantage of property acquisition opportunities is a huge asset”