The city of Hannibal may be adding a new feature to its impressive list of parks. Tuesday (Dec. 15), the City Council plans to vote on whether or not newly acquired land will be reshaped into a new nature preserve.

Kurt Parsons

The plans are to take a 185-acre tract of land on Hannibal's south side, much of which contains land and caves which belonged to the Marblehead Lime Co. until the 70's, and turn it into the Sodalis Nature Preserve. What is the great importance of this land you may ask? The old lime mines, since mining ended there in the 70's, have become one of the largest gathering spaces in the U.S. for hordes of the endangered Indiana bat population which use the caves for hibernation in the winter months. Just how many hordes? How about one third of the world's population of Indiana bats, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? This along with many other bat species, several others of which are also endangered.

If the vote goes to approve the preserve, the Sodalis Nature Preserve will become the second largest park in Hannibal's history. To learn more on this purposed project, see the article from our friends at the Quincy Herald-Whig.