Oak Mountain State Park: Park partners pay the way

Oak Mountain State Park and 21 other state parks in Alabama rely on partners for financial support. (Contributed)

Oak Mountain State Park and 21 other state parks in Alabama rely on partners for financial support. (Contributed)

By EMILY D. COOK / COMMUNITY COLUMNIST

We would like to take a moment to say thank you! Without your help, the park wouldn’t be here.

Oak Mountain State Park and the other 21 state parks in Alabama rely on our partners to keep us operational.

Who are our partners, you ask? Our partners are you, your family and your friends!

Each time you visit the park to mountain bike, ride a horse, play a round of golf, go fish, hike a trail, or even stay in the cabins or campground, you are helping us provide recreational activities that everyone can enjoy.

Partners Pay the Way – we thank you for all that you do. Not only do we have partners from right here in Alabama, we have them from all over the United States and even Canada.

Many of our partners love the park so much that they have created “user groups” to help build and maintain the park’s amenities.

Here at Oak Mountain, we have the Birmingham Urban Mountain Peddlers (BUMP) who are an integral part of maintaining our many miles of bike trails.

They work closely with Park Management to improve, install and maintain trails without disturbing the natural beauty of the park.

Another user group that you can find here at the park is the Central Alabama Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of America.

This group builds and maintains the horse trails throughout the park. With their help in the past few years, the miles of trails have increased from 12 miles to 26 miles.

We also have dedicated hiking trail volunteers that are out at the park on almost a weekly basis helping to maintain the 20-plus miles of hiking trails.

They remove trees blocking the trails, pick up litter, check for erosion and excessive wear on the trails, and more.

If you have a passion for the park and its activities and would like to volunteer with one of these groups, contact the Park at 620-2520, and we can get you in contact with the right person for you to volunteer with.