On November 22, 2013, Betty Mahler signed a deed giving all properties included in the Mahler farm to the City of Montevallo. Covenants made a part of the deed specify that a major portion of the land, “shall be retained by Grantee for the purpose of establishing a city park to be enjoyed by Grantee’s citizens,with said park to be named ‘Shoal Creek Park.’” The covenants also specify that “Grantee shall preserve the old Mahler home place which is situated upon the premises, for the purpose of enjoyment and usage by the Grantee and its citizens. “ Betty had given a gift of extraordinary generosity.
In the backyard of the Mahler home, there is a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. There is a bird in his hands and a look of blessing on his face. The figure was perhaps a housewarming gift given to Betty’s mother Elizabeth long ago by her Indiana sisters. The face and habit are roughened by 70 years of exposure. Lichens, moss and mold provide additional and appropriate vestments. Because of Betty’s gift creating Shoal Creek Park, the spirit of St. Francis can continue to bless the animals and protect the environment of the Mahler home place. (Excerpted from Mahler Family: 20th Century Pioneers by Ted G. Arnold)