DEER ISLAND, MS (WLOX) - Students from Ohio State University spent the morning Tuesday working on Deer Island. They're part of a larger group of students, taking part in community service projects around the country during their last week of holiday break.
A chilly South Mississippi morning greeted the Buckeye visitors as they prepared to head out from the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. After wading ashore in a winter low tide, they were ready to get to work with the DMR.
"This is green briar," said one of the DMR team leaders. "If y'all see this growing on the trail, try to get it as close to the roots, if not by the roots."
It's not exactly an island getaway for their holiday break, but these eager young people are anxious to help.
"We're part of a Buckeye Serve trip down here for Biloxi, Mississippi. We're going around trying to help with different environmental projects," said Catey Stanley.
The main task today: Clearing the hiking trail loops which now cover much of Deer Island.
"Right now we're blazing a trail on this barrier island off the coast. So hopefully it will look a little nicer for some hikers or visitors that want to come enjoy the scenery here," said student Adam White.
They're also getting a geography lesson about South Mississippi.
"This is our closest barrier island here, Deer Island," the DMR's Charlie Robertson explained. "If you could see on the other side of it, that's about where Horn Island is."
"A couple of them have been kind of surprised when they walk out here on the south side of the island. One of the girls asked, why aren't there a hundred thousand people out here, I mean it's beautiful," Robertson said.
In all, there are 49 students from Ohio State visiting South Mississippi. They're involved in a variety of community service projects this week.
"Such a beautiful place too. The ocean is right there. It's just a great time. Especially making new friends here too," said Jaimee Senk.
"I really like serving the community and giving back. Especially, I'm really grateful for everything I have, so it's nice to be able to help other people," added her teammate, Hannah Slenska.
And even though it may be chilly for Biloxi, these visitors from the north have no complaints about the weather.
"This is beautiful out here. This is warm weather in Ohio. I'm sweating right now!" said Stanley.