City: Ocean Springs
Total acreage: 30.0 acres
Conservation method: Purchase/Bargain Sale
Date acquired: 2005-07-00
Twelve Oaks is named for the numerous Live Oaks sprinkled among a spectacular setting of native plants and Old Fort Bayou. Many of the oaks are believed to be 400 years old and they make a tremendous impression when one stands beneath their widespread canopy. The site includes a historic home, part of which is believed to be an original 1800s African American church. A planning meeting with community members and local officials produced ideas for long-term use of the site use including an African American museum, an arts center for the city of Ocean Springs, and a nature center highlighted on the Old Fort Bayou Blueway canoe and kayak trail. Three walking trails and an observation deck have been constructed on the site and offer visitors hiking and birding opportunities. The habitats available on the property for wildlife to utilize include a mixed pine and oak forest with a mature canopy, a seepage slope forest, headwater bay swamps and a large area of tidal marsh. The property’s proximity to urban areas will draw many cosmopolitan mammals and birds seeking refuge in forested environs.