Ocean Springs, MS
Shearwater Park—complete with benches, trees, and a walking path—is the perfect place for birdwatching and quiet contemplation surrounded by quintessential coastal scenery. The park abuts Ocean Springs’ Inner Harbor, where boats of all shapes, sizes, and colors bob gently in their berths. Squadrons of pelicans, shearwaters, and other shorebirds perch leisurely atop the wooden pilons that support the piers, taking flight or diving into the water as the mood strikes. Herons wade in the water, fishing for their dinner. Brilliant white egrets roost in the trees at the close of day: a breathtaking sight.
The park represents the resilience of the local community. Hurricane Katrina devastated Mississippi’s Gulf Coast in 2005, damaging the home that once stood onsite. The City of Ocean Springs used grant funds to purchase the property, creating a public greenspace to provide enjoyment for visitors while buffering future storm surge, in partnership with the Land Trust. The Historic Ocean Springs Association also partnered in the park’s development, adding the John Blossman Memorial Garden. This fenced area includes benches and water fountains for both people and pets.
The City transferred ownership of the park to the Land Trust in 2015, ensuring the public’s ability to bask in the beauty of the Inner Harbor in perpetuity.