Conservation groups promote awareness of Indian Point Preserve - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Conservation groups promote awareness of Indian Point Preserve

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GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) -

It's a natural treasure, hidden in the heart of Gautier. Indian Point Preserve is 800 acres of wet-pine savannah that's perfect for hiking, bird watching and just enjoying Mother Nature. And now several conservation groups are working to build public awareness about this coastal preserve. 

The groups have formed a partnership to maintain and promote Indian Point Preserve.

Located along the Pascagoula River watershed, Indian Point  is a prime spot for enjoying all the beauty that nature has to offer. The state-owned property is part of the coastal preserve program and is managed by the DMR.

"Our program was created to help enhance, restore and basically conserve and manage critical coastal habitat," said Travis Williams with the DMR.

Public access to such preserve properties is encouraged.  A series of trails has been created at Indian Point.

"I can go from my house in Westgate and walk for two and a half hours and never come out of this property. There's just a lot of trails in here. And I see, all the time, I see deer and raccoons. And all kinds of birds," said Gautier resident Fred Pettersen, who helped clear trails at the preserve.

"When we finish, there will be observation decks at the end of the trials to overlook the marsh so you can take photographs and watch birds," said Cynthia Ramseur with Natural Capital Development.

A program called "Habitat Stewards" recruits and instructs volunteers who will help maintain these public lands.

"We are pleased to be able to offer trained volunteers who can go out and work on their own to help out in this management capacity," said Leah Bray, with the program.

The various partners hope to spread the word about Indian Point Preserve, which is easy to get to, but not widely known.

"I just like to observe and be in nature and it restores my soul. And it's great to have such a nice big natural area that's so accessible to the community. I hope the community will choose to take care of it and enjoy it," said Ramseur.

The preserve is located just south of Indian Point Parkway. The parkway runs east off Gautier-Vancleave Road.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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