The plans for revitalizing Three Mile Creek go back many decades. However, these dreams are now closer to becoming a reality.
On Saturday, May 7, the second annual Creek Fest will take place at Tricentennial Park off Stanton Road. The event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will reveal the latest developments in the project, as well as highlight the work of many local environmental groups.
On vintage maps, the 12-mile-long waterway is shown as Bayou Chateauguay. It was one of the original sources of drinking water for the French colonists. In the 1940s, though, Three Mile Creek was engineered to serve as a drainage ditch.
In 2012, Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, health officer of the Mobile County Health Department, pushed for the creation of a public health advisory group called Women Making A Difference. Among the issues they took on were obesity, cardiovascular disease and depression.
The group focused on the idea of creating a safe and clean place for outdoor recreation to deal with these issues. A grant for $218,650 from the Sybil H. Smith Charitable Trust got the ball rolling.
“At this point, we are working with the Corps of Engineers and property owners along Three Mile Creek to get the project reviewed and approved,” said Kelly Warren, director of prevention and wellness at MCHD and a member of the advisory group. “The final plans for our 1.7-mile stretch will be on display at Creek Fest.”
This section goes from Pecan Street to Ridge Road West. Mobile city officials are working on plans to extend the trail westward to Langan Municipal Park and eastward to the Mobile River. From there, it could link with the proposed Crepe Myrtle Trail that heads south to Dog River.
Three Mile Creek affects many communities. It runs through six of Mobile’s seven council districts plus sections of Prichard. It flows through all three of the County Commission districts.
Along with a path for running and biking, plans include launches for kayaks and canoes. Free boat rides will be available again at Creek Fest.
“Eric Erdman will be back to provide live music, the Boy Scouts will offer several merit badges and there will be numerous environmental exhibits,” Warren said. “We will also have the really popular cane-pole fishing tournament back in Day Lake at Tricentennial Park. This will be for those 16 and younger. Meteorologist Jason Smith from FOX10 has agreed to be our emcee again for the tournament.”
Warren said this is a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Tricentennial Park, as well as learn more about the Mobile Greenway Initiative.
“We encourage everyone to come see what it will look like,” she said. “We will also be taking suggestions on what we will name our trail.”
For more information on the event and plans for Three Mile Creek, visit www.CreekFest.org.
• The inaugural NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship is set for May 6-8 at the Gulf Shores Public Beach. The eight-team event will be broadcast nationally on TBS and truTV networks. While this will be the newest national tourney for the NCAA, Gulf Shores is a veteran site, having hosted the American Volleyball Coaches Association collegiate championships for the last few years. For ticket information, visit www.NCAA.com/BeachVolleyball.
• AJ McCarron is taking a little time off from football to participate in the 18th annual Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic charity tournament at Azalea City Golf Course. The event is Thursday, May 5, with registration at 10 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. and a four-man scramble at noon. For more information, contact 251-410-3707 or Melissa_Wesley@alortho.com.
• The USA Mitchell Cancer Institute’s Hope Cup golf tourney will be May 12 at the Country Club of Mobile. After registration at 10:30 a.m. and lunch at 11 a.m., a four-man scramble will have a shotgun start at noon. Other special events are planned on each hole. For more information call 251-460-7032.
• In just its second year of existence, the men’s track team at the University of Mobile captured the Southern States Athletic Conference championship. Daron Hooks (long jump), Lentz Similien (triple jump), Danny Nevils (javelin) and Alex Guillory (10,000 meters) won, as did the 4×400 meter relay team. Andy Canegitta has been named the SSAC Coach of the Year, while Freshman of the Year honors went to Hooks for track and Similien for field events. Hooks has qualified for the NAIA nationals in the 100 and 200 meters, and the 4×100 relay. Similien will participate in the triple jump.
• UM’s Jonina Brinson was named SSAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Year. She won individual league titles in the 100 and 200 meters plus the long jump. She has qualified for the NAIA meet in these events plus the triple jump. Also winning a SSAC title was A’Kasia Frazier in the 100-meter hurdles.
• Several UM golfers earned all-SSAC honors. Heather Nail is all-conference for the third straight year, after being a second-team All-American in 2015. Molly MacDermaid earned all-freshman honors. For the men, Keith Brooks and Wade Duke both were all-conference, while Duke was also on the freshman squad.
• Spring Hill College placed six athletes on the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association all-conference track and field teams. On the men’s first-team unit are Jordan Travis (800-meter winner) and Mathew Root (javelin winner). From the women’s team, Gabrielle Hantak (first team) and Nicole Kotval (second team) were recognized for the 1500-meter run. Katie Dolan was on the first team for the 5000-meter run, while Korinne Sauvage joined her for the javelin throw.
• Three track athletes from the University of South Alabama were recently named Sun Belt Conference Student-Athletes of the Week in track and field. The list includes Renaldo Frechou (leads SBC with a 66.34-meter hammer throw), Rafael Scott (recorded personal-best time of 10.38 seconds in 100-meter dash) and Jan-Louw Kotze (broke his own SBC record in discus with a toss of 62.11 meters).
Editor’s note: In the interest of full disclosure, J. Mark Bryant is employed as the Public Information Officer with the Mobile County Health Department.