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Letter to Buzzy: Correcting Magnolia Trail misinformation

Dear “Buzzy the Buzzard,”

While I appreciate your interest in Rockford and the surrounding community, I ask that you at least attempt to get your facts straight before complaining about something. If you want to know anything about the Magnolia Trail, you need to talk directly to me or to Mayor Scott White if you have questions or concerns – and then, if you don’t get the fast response you want, be sure you at least complain to or about the proper entities involved with the Magnolia Trail. As a disclaimer, I am an officer with the Alabama Hiking Trail Society.

First, I want to correct your misinformation that the Magnolia Trail is “closed, a gate shut, and a ‘No Parking’ sign posted.” Currently, the trail is accessed down a road that goes past a private residence, and this sign is on the private fence of the resident. The parking area is open, but small, and there is NO GATE to the trail itself. Were you at the Town Council meeting or have you contacted Town Hall to ask any questions about this? Somehow, I think not.

This is a joint venture between the Town of Rockford and the Alabama Hiking Trail Society where the town provided the land, and AHTS received a grant to map, layout and construct the trail. The maintenance of the trail was also to be shared equally by the town and AHTS. If you just recently flew into the Rockford area, you may not know that we suffered two major storms last year that wreaked havoc on the entire county, and cleanup is STILL underway in many areas. If you have been in this area for a while, you should have some understanding of the enormous job this has been. 

Members of the Trail Maintenance volunteers from AHTS have gone in and done initial cleanup to the Magnolia Trail and even rerouted the trail around some of the huge trees that are down because it is going to take some equipment we do not have to cut trees of this size. Between the lack of the equipment, the COVID-19 mandates on size of groups and the ability to recruit volunteers on a certain date, it is taking longer than wanted to complete this work. But, it has NOT been ignored. If you had bothered to ask the correct people, you would have known this.

In one of my personal “In My Humble Opinion” columns not long ago, I corrected and updated you on some information you wrote in another one of your tidbits, but maybe you didn’t read it. I even thanked you for your interest in the Magnolia Trail. Maybe buzzards just aren’t good at communicating verbally with people and only gather parts of information as you fly over conversations you are not really part of. But, while you are flying around, please pick up some of the smaller limbs and fly them out of the area.

In the meantime, maybe you should be more concerned with the cleanliness of the streets and roads, dead animals that need moving after you ravage the carcass, or the availability of feral cats for your next meal. Try being part of the solution and not the problem.



Jodi McDade

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