University of Montevallo's Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve
The University of Montevallo's Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve is located on Spring Creek, approximately 6 miles northeast of the University. Ebenezer swamp consists of 60 acres of wooded wetlands and is home to numerous species of fungi, plants, and animals. The forest is dominated for the most part by Tupelo Gum (Nyssa aquatica), with occasional Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda), Sweet Bay (Magnolia virginiana), Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), and Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). The dominant animal life form is the Beaver (Castor canadensis); water impounded behind several beaver dams along Spring Creek has a pronounced effect on the ecology of the preserve. Other animal inhabitants include the American Woodcock (Philohela minor), Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodia), Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), Water Moccasin (Aghistrodon piscivorus), Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), Raccoon (Procyon lotor), Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis virginiana), and various species of freshwater clams. The preserve is also home to numerous herbaceous plant species, including three species of orchids (Platanthera flava, Ponthieva racemosa and Tipularia discolor) and a rare species of cone-flower (Rudbeckia auriculata). Ebenezer Swamp is used for teaching and research purposes. Ongoing research projects include water quality testing and surveys of vegetation and macroinvertebrate diversity. Ebenezer Swamp was generously donated to the University of Montevallo by Mrs. Mildred Orr of Montevallo.