Land Grant Accepts Wetlands Donation

Future generations will enjoy the beauty of pitcher plants and pine lilies, thanks to the generosity of two Biloxi business owners.

Claude Johnson and Jesse Adcock donated 140 acres of pine savannah wetlands in Latimer  to a new environmental preservation group.

It's the first donation to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.

"We hope to maintain this property and bring it back to the wet pine savannah that it should be," said Land Trust director, Judy Steckler, as she spoke at a Wednesday news conference.

Ownership of 140 acres off Daisy Vestry Road has changed hands. Biloxi businessmen, Claude Johnson and Jesse Adcock, signed a contract donating the property to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.

"This is a real happy occasion for us to be able to do that first great step in the stewardship," said Steckler.

It marks the first such donation to the year old Land Trust group. The donors recognize their gift as a way of giving back to the coast community.

"We have done a little development and we've created a little blacktop as we went along. So maybe this little green space will about balance some of the blacktop we've laid over the years," said Jesse Adcock.

One of the first things the Land Trust plans to do with the 140 acres is set fire to it. Now that may sound strange, but there are several good reasons for a controlled burn there.

Steckler says it's part of the effort to preserve the land.

"Right now the property is greatly overgrown and we need to remove that underbrush and bring it back to its natural state."

Leaders of the Land Trust envision future field trips to the pine savannah. School children will enjoy the pitcher plants and other wetlands beauty, thanks to the foresight of two developers.

"We're pleased that we were able to make this donation and know that they will enjoy it for years to come," said Claude Johnson.

It's 140 acres that won't be disturbed by future development.