- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

BREWTON, Ala. (AP) - A south Alabama town is naming its new ecological park for one of the world’s best-known biologists, ant expert E.O. Wilson.

The city of Brewton will hold a dedication Sunday afternoon for the E.O. Wilson Nature Adventure.

The 86-year-old Wilson grew up in the Mobile area and spent some summers working in Brewton before going on to become a leading global authority on insects, particularly ants.

Wilson taught at Harvard University and won the Pulitzer Prize twice.

Wilson now lives in Boston, but he is expected to be on hand for the opening of the park, which is situated in a 100-acre area along swampy Burnt Corn Creek in Brewton.

Much of the land was donated to the city, and parts of the acreage are overgrown with invasive plants, including kudzu.

With a population of about 5,400, Brewton is situated at the confluence of streams and has been plagued by flooding for years. Officials hope that the preserve, located within the city limits, will turn a problem into a plus.

“We’ve decided now we’re going to use the creeks to our advantage,” said Connie Baggett, program management director for the city.

While officials say the area will take years to develop fully, plans for the park include hiking and biking trails, camping sites, canoeing and kayaking and educational programs.

Primitive camping for scouts will begin this summer, as well as archery. Biology students from Jefferson Davis Community College are using the area as an outdoor classroom as they conduct a survey of the area’s plant population.

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