Streets would destroy nature area in Gulfport
I am writing on behalf of the 204,000 members of the National Garden Clubs of America, and the Garden Clubs of Mississippi, which has 4,433 members in its many garden clubs across the state. Since 1986, the Clower-Thornton Nature Area in Gulfport has been owned and operated by these two groups.
This area affords abundant enjoyment of nature right in the heart of Gulfport. It is located behind the former V.A. property on Railroad Street and runs for 12 acres to 28th Street. Coffee Creek runs through it.
At public meetings, it has been announced that three streets may be opened through the acreage. We are protesting this idea because this area is a protected Land Trust and the dedicated area has walking trails, both paved and natural, wetland areas, bogs, natural habitat and native wildlife. It also is a state wild bird watching area used by thousands of people every year.
This area is an outdoor classroom for education of nature, used by school children, garden clubs and nature lovers. Guided tours are also available.
Currently, a group is being assisted by Mississippi State University students to survey and plant 30-gallon trees to replace those destroyed by the storm.
This area was donated by Aida Clower in honor of her parents. And my husband gave two additional acres where Coffee Creek comes through, in honor of his father, A.C. Hutto Sr.
We protest any streets being cut into this wonderful area of green space in the city of Gulfport because it is a Land Trust that is owned by these groups. It is an outstanding green space and is considered a protected nature area.
ELSIE CRUTHIRDS HUTTO Gulfport
We took our sons Cub Scout Den there it is a lovely area and deserves to be protected.