Several years ago I wrote about a visit to the Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve. I’ve recently visited the 60 acre swamp again which is located in Shelby County Alabama, and is about six miles from the University of Montevallo campus. It is home to an abundance of plant and wildlife.
If you are especially lucky you can also sneak up on a giant dragon fly among other works of art created from recycled steel.
The wooded wetlands is used for teaching and research. Spring Creek flows into Ebenezer Swamp forming a portion of the headwaters for Cahaba River Watershed. The Cahaba River is recognized as one of “Alabama’s Ten Natural Wonders,” and is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama.
This swamp acts like a huge kidney that filters the water that flows through it. I had seen standing water with this oily sheen before and thought of pollution. It is actually the result of a bacteria decomposition process that is taking place.
The forest is contains Tupelo Gum, Tulip Trees,Lob-lolly Pines, Red Maple, Sweet Bay, and Sycamore. Beaver, Raccoon, Opossum, Turkey, American Woodcock, Owl, and Great Blue Heron, Water Moccasin, Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, and various freshwater clams can be found in the area.
The preserve has a 6’wide boardwalk is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant that extends some 640′ into the swamp. The boardwalk allows guides to lead small groups safely out into the heart of the swamp. This spring the preserve offers an additional boardwalk, which joins the old one and extends across the swamp.
Below is a U of M video about the swamp. (I didn’t film this video.)