New trail, raised boardwalk in Ocean Springs unveiled at Old Fort Bayou

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Ocean Springs is now home to a mile-long looping trail and raised boardwalk overlooking Old Fort Bayou following Wednesday afternoon’s opening ceremony.

The new trail crosses two properties — which are owned by the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (LTMCP) — that include mixed hardwood forest and estuarine tidal march.

According to LTMCP, the Thrash Property covers approximately 27 acres of the trail while the Hussey Property contributes 11 acres.

“We appreciate our long-standing partnership with the Land Trust and are proud to support the work they
do which also helps us make strides in fulfilling our own mission,” Chris Wells, MDEQ Executive
Director, said.

Visitors to the trail will be able to see vital ecosystems for native plants and animals on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Those walking the trail may also see a snag, which is home to a bald eagle.

Local schools, home school groups, and the public will also be able to use an outdoor classroom located on the trail for hands-on learning.

The project has been funded in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under an assistance agreement with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

The funds were awarded to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (LTMCP) through a subgrant with MDEQ.

“Grant funding such as this from MDEQ is critical to the success of our land trust’s mission,” LTMCP Executive Director, Sara Guice, stated. “This support allows us to maintain and improve properties that may have otherwise been lost to neglect or misuse.”

Mississippi State University participated in this project through architectural services provided by Gulf Coast
Community Design Studio. Jackson County Board of Supervisors supported this project with efforts to
increase awareness for the Old Fort Bayou Blueway.

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