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Press Release for event

Weeks Bayou Restoration

A project of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain and partners has restored approximately 2.3 acres at Weeks Bayou as a green space for scientific and educational activities. A celebration of the opening of the Coastal Restoration and Education Area at Weeks Bayou will take place on Wednesday, April 12th between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm at the site at 315 Shearwater Drive. The public is invited.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm

at Weeks Bayou in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

hosted by the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain

(for additional information, please contact the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain at 228.435.9191)

The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (LTMCP) and partners will celebrate the opening of the Coastal Restoration and Nature Education Study Area at Weeks Bayou in Ocean Springs on Wednesday, April 12th between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm at the site at 315 Shearwater Drive on the west end of East Beach.

During this project, approximately 2.3 acres at Weeks Bayou were restored as a green space for scientific and educational activities. Debris and invasive species were also removed from the area, and a small observation deck was built that will be used for water quality sampling and as an outdoor classroom setting. “This project not only improves water quality, but also provides the Marine Education Center at the University of Southern Mississippi with a wonderful outdoor learning opportunity to teach landowners and students how to reclaim and restore land in sensitive coastal areas,” said Judy Steckler, LTMCP executive director.

The restoration project was funded in part by Southern Company through the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).  Additional funding was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  The Five Star program emphasizes results-based collaboration with diverse partners, including environmental groups, public agencies, non-governmental organizations, landowners, schools, businesses and others.

“Southern Company has a history of developing innovative partnerships to make a meaningful difference in the communities we are privileged to serve,” said Southern Company Chief Environmental Officer Dr. Larry S. Monroe. “This partnership leverages and expands public and private resources to deliver the value of a consistent commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Other project partners include Chevron, the City of Ocean Springs, CLIMB CDC, Mississippi State University Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Mississippi Power, Mississippi Wildlife Habitat Stewards, the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Cypress Environmental Science & Engineering, and 3Point Eco-Logical, LLC.

The public is invited to the project celebration program. For further information on the Weeks Bayou restoration project or the event, contact the Land Trust’s main office at 228.435.9191.

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PRESS RELEASE for IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION

Date: February 9, 2016
From: The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain office 228.435.9191, or Board President Melanie Allen 251.648.5195
Re: LTMCP announces Mary Ann O’Gorman as the Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence for 2016

Writer Mary Ann O’Gorman of Ocean Springs has been selected as the Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence for 2016, a project developed by the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain to demonstrate and enhance the natural connection between art & conservation, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to enjoy this amazing piece of quiet land,” said O’Gorman, “and I look forward to listening to what it has to tell me, and then writing those words.”

Mary Ann O’Gorman, published author of poetry and prose, has been selected as the 2016 Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence by the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.

Mary Ann O’Gorman, published author of poetry and prose, has been selected as the 2016 Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence by the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.

Twelve Oaks is a thirty-acre historic parcel of protected property situated at the north end of Hanley Road in Ocean Springs. It is held under the permanent conservation umbrella of the Land Trust, and is part of the Coastal Preserves program of DMR. LTMCP was awarded $3,700 by the Mississippi Arts Commission to support this year’s Artist in Residence project, which focuses on artistic interpretation of the Twelve Oaks acreage bordered by Highway 90 and extending through to the marshes of Old Fort Bayou.

“There are many ways to appreciate nature,” said Melanie Allen, LTMCP Board President, “and here in Ocean Springs many artists look to our natural resources for inspiration. The Land Trust has worked diligently for more than 15 years to protect and preserve open places and green spaces like Twelve Oaks because they have such value in our lives, especially in a town like Ocean Springs where artistic expression is so engrained in our culture. This is the third year of our Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence project, and we are grateful to the Mississippi Arts Commission and others who have supported this project.”

O’Gorman is a published writer of poetry and prose. In 2012, she earned a Masters of Fine Arts from the respected School of Letters at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. O’Gorman has been awarded the Marble Faun Poetry prize through Words and Music of New Orleans. She published Life In This House in 2008, which was nominated the following year for the poetry prize at the Mississippi Institute of Arts and letters.

The Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. “The creative economy has never been more vibrant than it is today in the communities across Mississippi,” stated Dr. Tom Pearson, Executive Director at MAC. “This agency is honored to play a small role in assisting these organizations to continue their work of reinforcing the value of the arts and the role they play in creative place-making and economic development. “

During her tenure as Artist in Residence, O’Gorman will conduct two public creative writing events at Twelve Oaks, scheduled for Saturday, March 12th and Saturday, April 9th. At the conclusion of her residency, O’Gorman will hold a reading of her work on the property on Saturday, May 7th. “One of the joys of this project is that I will be able to expose others to the wonder of this place, and to inspire them to write what they experience here,” said O’Gorman. In addition to her writing accomplishments, O’Gorman holds a Masters in English Literature from Rutgers, and taught in the English Department at Ocean Springs High School for nearly a decade. She was nominated to Who’s Who in American Teachers four times. In addition, O’Gorman is an E-500 hour yoga instructor. She says she may include some basic yoga stretching at the start of the creative writing workshops at Twelve Oaks. “There is no question”, she says, “how much yoga helps settle the being and body so the creative energy can flow.”

Last year, the Artist in Residence at Twelve Oaks was kinetic sculptor Spence Kellum of Starkville, who created a series of colorful copper and glass mobiles, each an interpretation of something he encountered on the property. The sculptures he produced included representations of a pileated woodpecker, belted kingfisher, bald eagle and alligator. In the first year of the project, nationally recognized Ocean Springs’ artist Trailer McQuilkin created a meticulous, painted copper botanical sculpture of a Blackberry Blossom. Also that year, photographers Charlie Taylor and Bob Effinger created a portfolio of two dozen photographs capturing the natural beauty of the protected property. Art created during the project becomes property of the Land Trust.

O’Gorman’s constant companion at Twelve Oaks is Caddie, her five year old Labrador. “He is inspired by the wonder of experiencing Twelve Oaks nearly as much as I am”, said O’Gorman.

O’Gorman’s constant companion at Twelve Oaks is Caddie, her five year old Labrador. “He is inspired by the wonder of experiencing Twelve Oaks nearly as much as I am”, said O’Gorman.

The LTMCP is a 15-year old conservation organization dedicated to conserving, promoting and protecting green spaces and open places of cultural, scenic and historic value in the six coastal counties of Mississippi. The Land Trust holds over 8,200 acres of property under its conservation umbrella. These valuable and productive lands are an important patchwork of fragile habitats and histories that represent the culture of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. LTMCP is the only nationally accredited land trust in the state of Mississippi. The organization is a registered 501c3 non-profit, and is directed by a volunteer Board of Directors, representing the six counties that comprise the Mississippi Coastal Plain. The organization’s Executive Director is Judy Steckler.

For more information, the LTMCP offices can be contacted at 435.9191, and the organization’s website is www.LTMCP.org.

Press Release

March 18, 2015

Twelve Oaks

The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain is inviting the public to join them at the beautiful “Twelve Oaks” 30 acre preserved property on Old Fort Bayou in Ocean Springs this Saturday afternoon, March 21st from 2 to 4pm as they celebrate a year of accomplishment at their annual meeting.

The agenda Saturday afternoon will include a brief presentation on the historic and fascinating Twelve Oaks property, and an overview of the work of the Land Trust in conserving, protecting and promoting green places & open spaces of scenic, cultural or environmental significance in the six lower counties of the state. The Artist in Residence (AiR) program at Twelve Oaks will be also be discussed, and the 2015 Artist in Residence, Agrippa Spence Kellum, will be introduced. The three walking trails on the property will be available for visitors to enjoy. Refreshments will be served.

Spence Kellum is an award-winning kinetic sculptor who is living on the Twelve Oaks property this spring. His AiR residency allows him to spend an extended time at Twelve Oaks, and to create artwork inspired by his experiences there. An exhibit of Kellum’s kinetic mobiles will be on display Saturday afternoon amongst the oaks and plantings on the property. Kellum is participating in the second year of the Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence project. Last year, botanical sculptor Trailer McQuilkin was selected as the inaugural Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence. McQuilkin created a meticulously accurate, painted copper sculpture of a blackberry bloom as a result of his residency. In addition to McQuilkin, the LTMCP 2014 Twelve Oaks AiR project also included photographers Charlie Taylor and Bob Effinger, whose stunning nature photographs of the Twelve Oaks property are now featured in LTMCP materials and will be displayed as well. The Artist in Residence project at Twelve Oaks is supported by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Twelve Oaks is a picturesque thirty acre natural setting that stretches between Highway 90 and Old Fort Bayou, with a breathtaking canopy of huge 400 year old live oak trees whose branches span nearly a hundred feet. There are three walking paths leading to the waterfront, and a small platform overlooking the bayou. The property was once owned by a remarkable former slave named Johanna Blount. Though the physical address for Twelve Oaks is 1112 Hanley Road, locals will find the property at the north end of Hanley Road, following the drive that runs between Hancock Bank and Bobby Tyson’s Tire Shop, as it turns to the west.

The Land Trust for the Mississippi Plain is a membership driven non-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors. LTMCP is the only nationally accredited land trust in Mississippi. The organization holds over 6,600 acres of property under its permanent umbrella of protection in the six lower counties of the state. “We are delighted to have Twelve Oaks open for the public to enjoy this coming Saturday,” said LTMCP Executive Director Judy Steckler. “We hope folks will put on good walking shoes and come enjoy this beautiful property that we are proud to help protect.”

For more information, the LTMCP offices can be contacted at 435.9191, and the organization’s website is www.LTMCP.org.

 

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