Beauty Blooms In Downtown Ocean Springs

Buddy White likes to pedal among the petals along downtown Ocean Springs. The scenery is one reason he moved to the city from Virginia two years ago.

"A lot of the plants you see down here, we didn't have," White said. "These live oak trees, they're beautiful. We don't have those."

Soon, White will get to see more color and beauty blossom along Washington Avenue and nearby streets. With spring in the air, the Ocean Springs chamber is cleaning up and sprucing up the downtown area.

"What a wonderful time Spring is to talk about renewal and the recovery, really, of a community," said Chamber Director Margaret Miller. "In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, people are looking for the beauty more than ever. They want areas that are clean and welcoming."

Even Fred Chase of Vermont is pitching in to pick up the trash.

"I want to make the earth a better place," Chase said.

When asked if this effort will help beautify downtown, he responded, "I hope so. I hope it will be catching, and others will do the same thing."

Chamber leaders hope by restoring all the gorgeous greenery and blooms, it will lure more visitors to Ocean Springs and help businesses grow.

"It's more than putting a flower into a planter box. It's about making the community welcoming, because most of the sales tax is obviously being brought in from somewhere else," Miller said.

"I love it," Buddy White said. "After all the destruction we've had, this is great. Everything they do is just great. It all looks good."

The beautification project is part of efforts to prepare for the Herb and Garden Festival on March 25th and 26th. On Tuesday, the chamber will plant more flowers and herb beds. If you'd like to help-out, just show up at the train depot on Washington Avenue at 9 AM.