MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Construction is about to begin on the new Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Moss Point. The project has been in the planning stages for several years, and community leaders and Audubon supporters are excited about moving forward.
A ten acre site on scenic Rhodes Bayou in Moss Point is about to be transformed.
"This center is going to mean so much, not just for Moss Point, but for this entire state and for the region," said Dorothy Shaw, who chairs the Audubon Advisory Board.
Audubon Center Director Dr. Mark LaSalle is excited by the potential of the new $1.6 million center. It will include interpretive and educational space, along with creative aspects.
"A nature art gallery that we're going to attract these wonderful nature artists that we have around here, and it doubles as a meeting room, and of course some administrative, but then there's the grounds," said LaSalle.
Longtime Audubon supporters Robert and Betty Oswald have high expectations.
"This inspiration for building, this is the perfect location. It is going to mean so much, and we expect to have just thousands and thousands of people come and come back again," Betty said.
"It will prove to be one of the best investments that local citizens could possibly have made," Robert added.
The project will certainly benefit nature based, or so-called eco tourism. Moss Point Mayor Billy Broomfield is anxious for future visitors to explore these surroundings and visit his city.
"We welcome it, and we've got a new economic development director onboard in the city, and so we're going to be doing a lot of things to enhance what the Audubon Center is going to be providing as well," said Broomfield.
Construction of the new Audubon Center should take about a year. Hancock Bank donated a portion of land that will be used as parking space for the new Audubon Center.