Ebenezer Swamp Wetlands Interpretive & Research Center
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The University of Montevallo's Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve is located on Spring Creek, approximately six 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, with occasional Red Maple, Loblolly Pine, Sweet Bay, Tulip Tree, and Sycamore.
The dominant animal life form is the Beaver; 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, Turkey, Great Blue Heron, Timber Rattlesnake, Water Moccasin, Copperhead, Raccoon, Opossum, and various species of freshwater clams. The preserve is also home to numerous herbaceous plant species, including three species of orchids and a rare species of cone-flower. Ebenezer Swamp is used for teaching and research purposes.
The University of Montevallo is creating the Ebenezer Swamp Wetlands Interpretive and Research Center (ESWIRC) to focus greater research on wetland ecology and to increase educational opportunities for high school and middle school students from across the state of Alabama. Research goals center on: establishing and maintaining an inventory of plant, animal, and fungal species; monitoring water quality, rainfall, and stream flow rates, and future studies of wetland ecological processes and the effects of encroachment along the swamp margin. Education goals center on raising the profile of the ecologic importance of wetlands to high school and middle school students, while simultaneously providing them with a sound introduction to the underlying principles of biology.