Lake Jackson Improvements

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A delegation of local lawmakers is lobbying the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for improvements at Florala State Park.

The state park, built along the shoreline of Lake Jackson, was officially opened by then Gov. George Wallace in 1965. A major overhaul of the 41-year-old facility was announced.

A quiet summer-like day along Lake Jackson with her four-year-old niece; for 64-year-old Ginger Betterton, it's something the Florala native has enjoyed since being a child.

The 450-acre lake, which borders Alabama and Florida, is considered one of the most pristine freshwater bodies in the entire southeast.

"All my aunts and uncles came down here before even me. We went fishing and swimming. We enjoyed it and still do," said Betterton.

During a news conference, an Andalusia engineering firm discussed plans for a $3 million improvement to the 41-year-old state park, which included a state-of-the-art amphitheater.

"It is a true asset to not only to this area, but Mr. Commissioner, also to the state of Alabama," said Rep. Seth Hammett.

For German exchange student Mya Heinckel and her mother, the lake far exceeds what they have in Europe.

"This is very big, and very clean, a lot bigger than Germany. And yes, very pretty," said Heincke.

Commissioner Barnett Lawley says the Florala State Park project has moved up on the list of conservation projects in Alabama and emphasizes a united community front will help his agency decide to pour in taxpayer dollars for improvements to the state park.

There's no timetable on when a decision will be made on spending money at Lake Jackson in Florala.