Blue Springs Nature Preserve is the result of a public-private collaboration between National Cement Company of Alabama, and citizens and elected officials of Ragland and St. Clair County, Alabama.
National Cement has a strong heritage of corporate citizenship and active participation in public and philanthropic projects. When the need arose to mitigate wetlands on one of its properties, National Cement identified an opportunity to enhance the quality of life and provide value for citizens and visitors to the surrounding area through the creation of a nature preserve.
The prevailing vision of Blue Springs Nature Preserve is as an outdoor classroom and nature retreat. Possible educational uses for the preserve include a hands-on teaching, field and laboratory experience for students in the St. Clair County area. Additional uses include guided and unguided nature walks following a number of trails that would highlight the area's outstanding environmental features. Through their participation, students will gain a better understanding of the environment, ecosystems, and wise management of natural resources. Coupled with the classroom and laboratory experience, Blue Springs Nature Preserve provides to citizens of St. Clair County, Alabama and surrounding areas with an excellent nature/ecology education at virtually every age level.
Blue Springs Nature Preserve also provides a venue for outdoor recreation where visitors can enjoy activities such as birding, hiking, camping and picnicking while minimizing their impact on the environment. The local economy benefits in return — according to a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife survey, Alabamians spent $2.3 billion on ecotourism (including bird and wildlife watching and outdoor recreation) in 2004.
“The overall goal for Blue Springs Nature Preserve is to create a place that people will enjoy and that will benefit the Ragland community and St. Clair County for many years to come by increasing recreation, tourism and travel. This area is a well-kept secret that we want to share with others so that they too can enjoy the natural beauty of the region.”
—Spencer Weitman, President of National Cement
Learn about the history of Blue Springs Nature Preserve.