FOLEY – A new pavilion could meet some of the growing demand for event and educational space at Foley’s Graham Creek Nature Preserve.

The Foley City Council voted to initiate the pavilion capital project at the preserve. The resolution calls for the development of plans for a large event pavilion at the preserve. The city will go out for bids on the facility once designs are completed. 

Leslie Gahagan, Foley nature parks director, said requests for pavilion space are increasing at Graham Creek.

“Events have really taken off,” she said. “The demand is really high.”

Rental fees for the pavilion should help pay some of the costs of building the new facility.

If the council approves a bid, the pavilion would be constructed south of the Interpretive Center at the park. The site is south of Graham Creek on Philomene Holmes Boulevard.

“It’s in that nice little open field,” Gahagan said. “There’s been a lot of requests for wedding venues out there near the pitcher plants and so this will be just beside that. The view there is very pretty.”

She said the facility can also be used for education.

“We can also use it for classes,” Gahagan said. “We have a lot of wetland classes and forestry classes. That would free up the interpretive center as well.”

The site could also be used during other events, such as archery competitions, at the Graham Creek Nature Preserve.

The pavilion would be 2,200 square feet in size and would also include two 150-square foot storage areas. The plans also call for solar-powered fans in the facility.