LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - People in Lucedale can now enjoy the wilderness without leaving the city limits. Saturday will be the grand opening for the 43 acre Lucedale Greenway Preserve. In Lucedale, a walk deep into the woods doesn't mean having to travel far. In fact, you don't even have to leave town.
"I think it's actually really good because you can come out here and be close to nature and your house is right there," said volunteer Anna Marie Smith.
Volunteers spent Good Friday collecting trash along the Lucedale Greenway Preserve land that officials say was bought with a grant from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.
"This trail is about a mile and a half through the woods and it goes along the creek bottom and it also goes over the hills where there's a lot of big timbers," said Dr. Dayton White, volunteer and former Lucedale mayor. "We have identified nine species and about 25 different trees and we're in the process of labeling these trees, so it's going to be an educational area."
Greenway Preserve is the city's second nature trail in an effort not to let Lucedale's children grow up without a place to experience Mother Nature.
Dr. White said, "Urbaninization goes along and we destroy greenways. We destroy the natural beauty of the forest in South Mississippi. So when this money became available for us to purchase this property, it seemed like an opportunity just too good to miss."
With nature at their doorstep, people said they'll have a better chance to connect with the environment.
Irma Garcia, a volunteer, said, "I believe everybody should spend at least a little time outside trying to clean and protect our environment because we do live it and we should try and take care of it. "
The grand opening for the Greenway Preserve is Saturday at 10 am on Lamar Street in Downtown Lucedale.