Interested in participating in the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi?
Join Wildflower Trails of Mississippi for the third-ever wildflower field day, planned for Thursday, June 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Mississippi State Extension Service will host the field day at the Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station located at 51 Coastal Plains Road in Newton.
At the field day, we will discuss wildflowers and native ornamental plants as well as look at the latest in wildflower testing
Wildflowers have lots of fans! The Wildflower Trails of Mississippi works with its many partners to teach Mississippians about wildflowers. Recently, we hosted a Wildflower Field Day at Mississippi State Extension Service’s Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton.
We learned about native seed production, backyard habitats and milkweed management as well as took a field tour.
A big thank you to all of our partners, including Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Mississippi Department of Transportation, Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts, Mississippi Master Gardeners, Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In a year or two, new wildflower plantings along U.S. 82 between Carrollton to Kilmichael will give citizens a more beautiful drive. Through the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi, Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB) is working with local leaders to plant wildflowers along this 22-mile corridor in Mississippi.
KMB launched Wildflower Trails of Mississippi in 2015, and since then, wildflower plantings are thriving across the state – from the Coast to Crystal Springs.
“Wildflowers are native, meaning they are conditioned to thrive here and are resistant against drought and pests,” said Sarah Kountouris, KMB Executive Director. “They do wonderful things for our landscape, such as reduce erosion and provide much-needed habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies as well as bobwhite quail. Plus, they’re beautiful.”
KMB is working with city officials in Carrollton, Winona and Kilmichael to plant wildflowers in the median along the U.S. 82, a major corridor across Mississippi. The plantings will include Black-eyed Susans, Plains Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower and a variety of native grasses. KMB worked closely with Mississippi State University Extension Service to select ideal plants for Mississippi roadways.
KMB plans to plant in the spring, meaning blooms as soon as next summer. As the plantings flourish, KMB expects more blooms over time.
Wildflower Trails of Mississippi was recently received Keep America Beautiful’s prestigious Innovation Award. Our project, led by Keep Mississippi Beautiful, was one of several to receive awards at Keep America Beautiful’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.
A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Keep Mississippi Beautiful is part of the Keep America Beautiful network, and Wildflower Trails of Mississippi is its premiere beautification effort in the state.
Additionally, at the conference, Keep Mississippi Beautiful Executive Director Sarah Kountouris spoke about the project during the “I Am Keep America Beautiful” session.
By Wildflower Trails of Mississippi
Earlier this month, 75 local and state leaders, wildflower enthusiasts, conservation partners and Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliates gathered in Newton, Mississippi for our first-ever wildflower field day. The field day was held at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station of Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.
It was a great day! We learned about the importance of pollinators (we owe them for one out of every three bites of food) as well as proper maintenance before wildflower plantings.
A big thanks to all of our partners who made it possible, including MSU’s Extension Service, KMB, Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Service, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Mississippi Department of Transportation and Mississippi Master Gardeners.
We’re also proud of all of our KMB affiliates who joined us! We had representatives from Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, Keep Simpson County Beautiful, Keep Natchez Beautiful, Keep Clinton Beautiful, Keep Madison the City Beautiful, Keep Pearl Beautiful, Keep Morton Beautiful, Keep Harrison County Beautiful, Keep Kosciusko Beautiful and Keep Oxford Beautiful.
People frequently ask us if we sell or distribute packets of wildflower seeds. Unfortunately, we don’t at this time. We have a limited quantity of seeds that we’re using for community-size projects.
But don’t despair! You can still find wildflower seeds for your yard. We’ve poked around the Internet as well as asked some of our friends for some in-state and out-of-state vendors.
Additionally, be sure to contact your local office of the Mississippi State University Extension Service for their tips and recommendations.
- Barton & Sons, Inc., Lucedale, 601-947-2675
- Ole Grady’s Nursery, Inc., Lucedale, 601-945-2523
- Under the Oak Nursery, Lucedale, 601-508-6686
- Bond’s Nursery PO Box 1523, Lucedale, 601-550-4063
- Hutto’s Home and Garden Center, Jackson, 601-973-2277
- Marc Pastorek, wildflower and native grass seed contractor, http://www.meadowmakers.com/
- Martinson’s Garden Works, Ridgeland, 601-856-3078
- Penick Organics, Macon, 662-726-5224, www.penickforestproducts.com
- Turner Seed, www.turnerseed.com
- Roundstone, www.roundstoneseed.com/
- Ernst Conservation Seeds, www.ernstseed.com/
- Native American Seed, www.seedsource.com/
- Bamert Seed, www.bamertseed.com/
This list is a work in progress. Please let us know of any recommended vendors that you’ve found!
Keep America Beautiful recently highlighted Wildflower Trails of Mississippi on their blog. Check out their post below:
Mississippi is well known for its natural beauty. But over the years, the amount of native wildflowers has dwindled because of the common threats of habitat loss and invasive plants.
To address the loss of wildflowers, Keep America Beautiful state affiliate Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB) took action to transform its public spaces into beautiful places by launching the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project during Keep America Beautiful’s 2015 Great American Cleanup.
After a year of working with many community partners and volunteers, the project is blooming, planting the seeds to ensure Mississippi residents and visitors to the Magnolia state — as well as pollinators — will appreciate the sights and smells of wildflowers. The project complements other KMB beautification initiatives throughout the state.
KMB got the Wildflowers Trails of Mississippi project started after receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase wildflower seeds. Keep Mississippi Beautiful 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.
The project brought together a variety of partners, including the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Mississippi Department of Transportation, The Garden Clubs of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. And, after a year, the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi’s flowers are showing off their colors.
Keep America Beautiful conducts its National Planting Day on the first Saturday after Labor Day each September with community-based activities happening throughout the month.
National Planting Day celebrates the critical nature of native plants and trees in enhancing biodiversity and rebuilding ecosystems. Keep America Beautiful is asking National Planting Day participants to celebrate the theme of “Keep America Bee-utiful” by focusing their efforts on planting pollinators, in addition to native species. Register your 2016 National Planting Day event today!
By Wildflower Trails of Mississippi
We are so excited! One of our inaugural projects, a wildflower planting in Crystal Springs, now boasts its first blooms. The planting is located on U.S. 51 headed into town. It’s just been a few months from planting, and the highway is looking beautiful! Thanks Mayor Sally Garland for the photo of the flowers.
By Wildflower Trails of Mississippi
Earlier this week, we took Wildflower Trails of Mississippi on the road… all the way to Orlando, Florida for the Keep America Beautiful annual conference. Keep Mississippi Beautiful is part of the Keep America Beautiful network, and we were asked to share our project with other affiliates during the “Steel This” session.
Sarah and Neeley did a great job in sharing our wildflower story. People were excited about our project — and talking about ways they planned to take the idea back home.
Keep America Beautiful has three pillars, one of which is beautification. Wildflowers are a wonderful way to beautify our roadsides and communities.