Seabees help build trails at coastal preserve - - The News for South Mississippi

Seabees help build trails at coastal preserve


A team of Seabees spent the day Tuesday clearing brush and building trails in Ocean Springs. They helped out with a work project at 12 Oaks Coastal Preserve, which is located along the banks of Fort Bayou.

The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain has big plans for that water front property. It's the perfect spot for enjoying most all that nature has to offer in South Mississippi.

The Seabees got a workout building trails and helping create an outdoor classroom. They cleared brush, dug post holes and put branches and logs into a giant chipping machine.

"What we are doing now is clearing a big more of the view shed so we can bring school groups and scout troops out here to learn about the water shed and the importance of the water shed in coastal Mississippi," said Land Trust volunteer Shelley Parker.

Seabee Eddie Shelton is part of the post hole digging crew. On this near perfect morning, he's happy to be outdoors.

"Well, it's great to get out and do some actual work instead of being inside. We've been trying to come out here the past few weeks but it's been rainy every time we try to come out here," said Shelton.

"Some of these things are magnolias and bay," said one of the team leaders, pointing to leaves on branches, "And they offer great food value for wildlife and we want to keep that."

"It's excellent turtle habitat. And so we're preparing the habitat so the turtles will come ashore and nest," said Land Trust Director Judy Steckler.

Along with the outdoor classroom, a portion of this project will provide a pathway to give students access to the water's edge.

Seabee team leader Adam Bradford says his troops are happy to help. He appreciates the potential of this property as a great place for children to learn about the environment.

"Oh, it's going to be great for education. The plans they have for this place, by the time they're done, even little ones will enjoy this place. It's a great project and great for the community as well," said Bradford.

The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain acquired the 12 Oaks preserve property in 2005. It includes a building which serves as an education center, along with connecting trails and paths that let visitors explore the Fort Bayou habitat.


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