EBSCO Announces Partnership to Keep Alabama Beautiful

Posted on January 10, 2022

EBSCO Industries partners with Forever Wild Land Trust and the State Parks Division of Conservation and Natural Resources to help keep Alabama forever beautiful.

EBSCO Industries is pleased to announce a partnership with The Forever Wild Land Trust. This unique organization collaborates with Alabama’s citizens and businesses to protect our environment and our collective future.

In 2019, Dell S. Brooke and Dixon Brooke, Jr. nominated a 1,644-acre tract of land, owned by EBSCO and known as the Belcher Tract, for conservation consideration. The Belcher Tract sits adjacent to Alabama’s Oak Mountain State Park. On August 5, 2021, following years of conversation and cooperation, the Forever Wild Land Trust Board unanimously voted to acquire the Belcher Tract and on December 29, 2021 the transaction for the sale of the land officially closed.

“This property was originally purchased with the intent to be developed, and many development opportunities exist today. But, the preservation of this land will create more sustainable value for our environment, our surrounding communities, and our citizens for generations to come,” said Dell Brooke, EBSCO Industries board member and daughter of Elton B. Stephens, founder of EBSCO Industries.

The conservation of this unique tract of land has a consequential impact beyond preserving greenspace in one of our state’s most rapidly growing communities. It expands Oak Mountain State Park to over 11,000 acres and safeguards the expansive and pristine views from King’s Chair overlook, one of Alabama’s most popular hiking trails. Additionally, this forestland is home to a rare and endangered ecosystem of Alabama’s native longleaf pines. Longleaf pines are found in less than 3 percent of their original territory. They once covered an estimated 90 million acres of the Southern United States, extending from southeastern Virginia to Florida and West through Louisiana and East Texas.

“Land clearing for development and agriculture, along with tree farms converting their forests to short-rotation pines, resulted in the depletion of this once-abundant resource,” said Dixon Brooke, Jr, EBSCO Industries board member, and former President and CEO of EBSCO Industries. “We are pleased to have a small part in the restoration of this ecosystem through the preservation of the Belcher Tract. We are very appreciative of The Nature Conservancy who partnered with EBSCO Industries to turn ideas and conversations into action and conservation.”

— In the Spring of ’22, EBSCO Industries’ HQ team members plan to host a “Holding Space” Hike to King’s Chair commemorating this special event and to honor those friends and family members impacted by COVID-19. More details to follow. –