Hoover launches island at Veterans Park

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

HOOVER — The lake at Veterans Park on Valleydale Road is now home to a small island making a big impact on the local environment.

The floating island, which is 480 square feet and made by BioHaven, will help improve the water quality by drawing out harmful chemicals and reducing the amount of sediment that reaches the Cahaba River.

“All cities and counties have storm water issues, and the Cahaba River is a very delicate river,” said Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos. “The floating island takes chemicals out of the water through plants. It’s done naturally.”

Petelos said the island also helps protect wildlife by offering a landing site for birds and helping fish remain healthy. Once the island goes through a growing season, it will house 360 plants, all of which are native to Alabama.

“When the plants grow after one growing season, you’ll never know it’s manmade,” Petelos said. “It will look very natural out there.”

The island is the first of its kind in the state. It was funded through a $10,000 grant awarded to the city by state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Pelham, and the CAWACO Resource Conservation and Development Council.