Depot Creek Greenway
“Public access to urban greenways is a priority for the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (LTMCP) and many of our communities” – Judy Steckler, Executive Director, LTMCP
The Depot Creek Greenway encompasses 29 acres surrounding a portion of Depot Creek and was inspired by the late Judge William T. Bailey, former Mayor Dayton Whites and other community leaders who dreamed of an area where visitors could view and learn about nature and wildlife in their native habitat.
In 2003, LTMCP in partnership with the City of Lucedale, donations from the Luce family, Havard family and several community businesses, and grants from the MS Department of Transportation, MS Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the 5 Star Program began developing the 29 acre Depot Creek Greenway. The first urban greenway in the state of Mississippi!
A grant from the MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Recreational Trails program provided funding to construct an educational pavilion within the greenway. Designed by Allison Anderson, unabridged Architecture, this magnificent structure is reminiscent of the old Lucedale train depot. The pavilion was designed to be utilized as an outdoor classroom where learning and nature could come together. Located just over the bridge on Highway 198 at the head of the Deport Creek Greenway trails, the education pavilion was dedicated to Dr. Dayton Whites for his foresight, commitment, and perseverance to creating an outdoor educational facility where children, students, and visitors could come to learn about and observe wildlife and natural ecosystems.
Along the trails and boardwalk that lead away from the pavilion students can encounter and observe nature. A series of fun educational signs feature pictures and facts on many of the wildlife species that live in the greenway and along Depot Creek. Students are encouraged and challenged to “find” these wildlife residents as they walk the trails.
In addition to the educational pavilion, Depot Creek Greenway includes a raised handicapped-accessible boardwalk, extensive nature trails, two small fishing ponds, an environmentally friendly parking area, and connecting trails to Lucedale City Park and the Lucedale Greenway Preserve.
Whether strolling along the boardwalk, fishing in the ponds, “finding” the resident wildlife, or enjoying a brief respite in the shade of the pavilion visitors are treated to beautiful views of Depot Creek and the many turtles, frogs, ducks, and birds that make Depot Creek Greenway their home.