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Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund Announces Funding for 33 Projects Across the State

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

(Photo from conserve.ms | Audra Melton)

  • More than $14.5 million will go to enhance walking trails, boat ramps, playgrounds and more in support of the Magnolia State’s $8 billion outdoor recreation economy.

It was announced on Friday that the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund (MOSTF) Board of Trustees has selected 33 conservation and outdoor recreation projects for grants totaling more than $14.5 million which will be matched with nearly $30 million from other sources.

Governor Tate Reeves praised the announcement, saying it was another round of great projects.

“The Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund is making an incredibly positive impact on our state. We’ll continue to do everything we can to preserve our state’s natural beauty for the next generation of Mississippians,” Reeves said in a statement.

Mississippi enjoys an $8 billion outdoor recreation economy which supports more than 79,000 jobs.

The MOSTF was created and funded by the Legislature in 2022. This most recent funding will utilize the Legislature’s appropriation of $15 million in 2023.

According to the Governor’s office, the competitive grants chosen include a range of projects that meet the goals of improving our state’s parks and outdoor recreation trails, improving access to public waters and lands, and preserving, enhancing, and restoring native wildlife and fish resources and their critical habitats across Mississippi.

The projects awarded funding include:

  • Gordon’s Creek Linear Trail ($2,246,419) – This project will assist the City of Hattiesburg in the development of the River District of Gordon’s Creek Linear Park and connect the Longleaf Trace to the Chain Park.
  • Reimagining New Albany’s Park Along the River ($2,000,000) – Funding will assist the Little Tallahatchie Riverway Conservancy to partner with the City of New Albany within the boundaries of Park Along the River to construct a nature-themed playground and riverside access points.
  • Bay St. Louis Public Recreational Fishing Reef Enhancement ($1,531,872) – This project administered by The Nature Conservancy will add up to 5 acres of reef to the Tony Trapani Reef, located in waters that are closed to oyster harvest due to its water classification of “prohibited.”
  • Tanglefoot Trail Bridge, Surface, and Chickasaw Nation Signage Trail Improvements ($1,500,000) – This project will assist the GM&O Rails-to-Trails Recreation District-North MS to make upgrades to the Tanglefoot Trail in Union, Pontotoc, and Chickasaw Counties.
  • DeSoto County Agri-Educational Center and Arena’s Walking Trail ($1,021,836) – Funding will assist the Desoto County Board of Supervisors to construct a multi-use trail spanning 0.8 miles.
  • Sunflower River Walk ($932,877) – Funding will assist the City of Clarksdale in construction of an ADA-compliant 6,000 linear foot pathway loop along the banks of the Sunflower River in Downtown Clarksdale.
  • Healthy Outdoor Business, Recreation and Community Connectivity Development Project ($870,000) – The Town of Sumrall seeks to leverage the nationally recognized Longleaf Trace recreation path, which traverses the Town, as a backbone of connectivity for all residents.
  • Pinebelt Blueway’s – Glendale Avenue Boat Ramp Enhancement ($696,254) – Funding will assist the Forrest County Board of supervisors to improve public water access to the Bouie River.
  • Marquette Road Multi-use Path ($585,678) – Funding will assist the City of Brandon to construct approximately one mile of new multi-use path along Marquette Road, providing pedestrian and bike access connectivity to the recreational opportunities in the area, which include the Brandon Amphitheater, Quarry Ballpark, and the Quarry Park Trails.
  • Noma Drive Walking Trail ($500,000) – This project for the City of Diamondhead is for a four-mile nature trail that will include both trails, pedestrian bridges, and deck walks to connect Noma Drive Boat Launch to Montjoy Creek Kayak Launch.
  • Jordan and Logtown Natural Area Conservation ($447,815) – This project will allow Wildlife Mississippi and the Mississippi Land Trust to leverage almost $4.5 million in federal and private funding already committed to the project to permanently conserve, better manage, and enhance public access at the Logtown Natural Area and Mill site in Hancock County and the Jordan Natural Area in Jackson County.
  • Matthews Branch Sidewalk Improvements ($261,890) – Funding will assist the City of Petal in constructing sidewalks for safe movement of pedestrians among points of interest in an area of heavy vehicular traffic.
  • Pearl River Wildlife Management Area Wetland Habitat Enhancement ($250,000) – This project will provide funding for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks to replace flood control pump motors, pipe infrastructure, and water level control structures.
  • Clarkco State Park NICA Trails ($220,800) – Funding will assist the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in developing a progressive trail network that offers beginner to advanced-level mountain biking as well as pedestrian opportunities.
  • Roosevelt State Park NICA Trails ($220,800) – Funding will assist the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in developing a progressive trail network that offers beginner to advanced-level mountain biking as well as pedestrian opportunities.
  • Lower Mississippi River Side Channel Reconnection and Restoration ($204,524) – This project will allow The Nature Conservancy to partner with the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Mississippi River Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to construct and modify environmental restoration features on various rock dikes located on the Mississippi River in Jefferson, Adams, and Washington Counties.
  • Camp Kamassa-Outdoor Recreation Field and Nature Observation Area ($200,000) – Camp Kamassa, operated by the Mississippi Toughest Kids Foundation, is Mississippi’s first and only year-round fully handicap accessible camp facility for children and adults with serious illnesses, physical & mental challenges, and other special needs.
  • Flowood Nature Park-Walking Trail ($160,000) – The project includes the rehabilitation of approximately 1.75 miles of six-foot wide asphalt walking trails located within the City of Flowood Nature Park.
  • Bayou St. Louis Bayou LaCroix Boat Launch Phase 2 ($150,000) – Funding will assist the City of Bay St. Louis following progress of Phase 1 which included land acquisition construction of a new double boat launch, parking, bulkhead, and mobile restroom.
  • Access Infrastructure at the Delta Wind Birds Sky Lake Nature Reserve ($120,000) – Funding will be provided to the Delta Wind Birds charity organization to enhance visitor access at the Sky Lake Wildlife Management Area Prothonotary Trail in Humphreys County.
  • The Mississippi Wild Turkey Initiative, Phase 1: Rehabilitating Riparian Hardwoods ($110,000) – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will be a key partner by deploying on-the-ground biologists from the agency’s Private Lands Program to identify landowners and coordinate projects.
  • Fannin Landing Multi-use Path Extension ($99,100) – Funding will assist the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District to extend an existing multi-use trail 1,880 feet from the Fannin Landing boat launch recreation area on Fannin Landing Circle in Rankin County to the Arbor Landing neighborhood entrance.
  • McIvor Shooting Facility Pavilion ($65,190) – This project will build an outdoor pavilion at the McIvor Shooting Facility located in Panola County.
  • Mississippi Landscape Management Plan ($50,000) – This project administered by the Mississippi Forestry Association will add the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Northern Gulf of Mexico ecoregions to the ongoing landscape management plan project that covers the two coastal plain regions, providing coverage for the entire state of Mississippi.
  • Aquatic Passage: Enhancing Waterfront Access through Floating Docks ($27,220) – Funding will assist the City of Eupora with construction of floating docks to create new recreational access to public waters at White’s Creek Lake Recreation Area.
  • Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Shooting Sports Scholarships Program ($24,000) – The Foundation is helping Mississippi’s youth make their first step in becoming lifelong, safe hunters, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts by providing these scholarships as incentives for students and their schools to participate in the Archery in Mississippi Schools (AIMS) and Mississippi Scholastic Shooting Sports Programs (MSSP), as well as encouraging students to pursue careers in conservation and/or outdoor recreation.
  • Spring Lake Restoration Project, Wall Doxey State Park ($10,000) – This project will allow the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks to restore access and recreation to the 40-acre lake located at Wall Doxey State Park near Holly Springs.
  • ADA Kayak Launch at Roosevelt State Park, Percy Quin State Park, Paul B. Johnson State Park, Trace State Park, Lake Monroe State Lake, and Lake Perry State Lake (each with $8,750) – This project will provide materials for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks to construct a floating launch facility specifically designed for safe and efficient launching of kayaks and small non-motorized vessels and will be designed to specifications for users with disabilities.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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