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The city of Florence is creating a safe place for kayakers and canoers who want to ride down Cypress Creek.
Over the years, the bridge that goes over Cypress Creek at Cox Creek Parkway at the intersection of Jackson Road has become a popular site for kayakers and canoers to put their boats in.
The city of Florence bought 22 acres around Cypress Creek for about $345,000. City officials said this helps them have a buffer zone for the water treatment plant, and they are fixing up the area for those who want to kayak or canoe down Cypress Creek.
Cypress Creek is the second intake water supply for the city of Florence, which basically means the creek's water goes through the water treatment plant and then to faucets.
Florence Mayor Steve Holt said they bought the 22 acres around Cypress Creek to make sure no one builds a chemical plant, which could damage the water supply. Holt said the second advantage of buying the land is clearing it out to make it safer for recreational water use.
Holt said they plan to add a gravel parking lot for kayakers and canoers and plan on paving parts of the area to make water access easier.
"They should embrace it, because anything that gets people outdoors and out on the water in the city is great. It's so pretty out here," said kayaker, Austin Borden.
This will be a joint project between the city and the Alabama Department of Transportation, because the state owns the right of way. Holt said the gravel parking lot should be done by July.