Sowing the Seeds

Keep Mississippi Beautiful's Neeley Norman and Sarah Kountouris tell conservationists about wildflowers at recent Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting. Photo by Judi Craddock.

Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s Neeley Norman and Sarah Kountouris tell conservationists about wildflowers at recent Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting. Photo by Judi Craddock.

By Wildflower Trails of Mississippi

Last week, we met with conservationists across the state at the Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting. And we had a great time sharing information on our new statewide effort to restore wildflowers across the state.

Our state is known for its natural beauty, and Keep Mississippi Beautiful is working with community partners to enhance the aesthetics of roadways, community entrances and public places by planting wildflowers. Wildflowers face many threats from habitat loss and invasive plants, and this project raises resources to create and restore wildflower areas.

We're grateful for our partners for making this possible! A few of our partners include Jeff Wilson with the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Alana Jacobs with the USDA's Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center and Gary Blair with the Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts.

We’re grateful for our partners for making this possible! A few of our partners include Jeff Wilson with the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Alana Jacobs with the USDA’s Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center and Gary Blair with the Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts.

Why We Want to Plant Wildflowers:

  • Litter free, colorful roadways are good for tourism.
  • Roadsides and medians where wildflowers are planted require less maintenance once established than grass areas that need to be cut.
  • Landscaping, such as wildflower plantings, improve property values.
  • Wildflowers provide important habitat for wildlife and insects.

The Nuts and Bolts:

  • KMB received a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase wildflower seeds.
  • KMB worked closely with the Mississippi State University Extension Service to develop a seed mix that features a variety of colorful blooms and foliage, thrives in Mississippi and is easy to maintain.
  • This project brings together a variety of partners, including the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Mississippi Department of Transportation and Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.
  • This project complements other state beautification efforts, including the Avenue of the Magnolias and KMB’s Great American Cleanup.

What’s Going on Now:

KMB is working with about two dozen communities to prepare sites and plant seeds during the next year. For example, we’re planning projects in the median of U.S. 51 in Crystal Springs and of U.S. 49 in Simpson County. We’re also working on a project at the Jackson Street interchange along I-55 in Ridgeland and Nosef Park in Clarksdale. We’re continuing to find more sites, partners and funding sources.

Learn more by downloading our latest status report: Wildflower Status Report.

2 thoughts on “Sowing the Seeds

  1. Sheila Henry says:

    My husband & I live on Hew 49 in Saucier. Our child was hit by a car & killed in front of our home 1-23-15. We have 25 acres road frontage not sure how much but all residential. It is next to entrance road of Grand Bear Golf. We keep an area cleaned w/ a cross but are wanting to put a plaque & flowers. Please consider our area. We would help & keep it clean of trash & water it……

    Like

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