Dozens of people greeted Housing Authority Director Roy Neciase with chants to "Keep Ann's Flowers" as he drove up to Ms. Parson's home. Those chants soon turned to cheers, after Ms. Parson learned her garden would stay rooted right where it is.
"My flowers mean a lot to me because I don't like sitting in any house. I just like to sit outside. I'm more of an outside person then an inside," Parson said.
Necaise says an old agreement between the Housing Authority and Ms. Parson is the reason her garden can grow.
"We found out was she had permission from management to do what she has done, and it states in the lease you must have consent, and she did. As a result of that we are going to honor that," Necaise said.
Over the years, Ms. Parson has planted some 30 varieties of flowers, plants and trees. She says the fear of losing them has kept her up at night, but support from the community kept her from giving up.
"I would like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting me," Parson said. "I'm so happy, I've got knots in my stomach."
This agreement with Ms. Parson doesn't change the housing authority's new policy of no yard gardens. But housing board does says there is room for some compromise. They want to develop community gardens that can be shared by everyone.
"What we have agreed is, that we are going to establish certain areas plant in, and residents can plant in those certain areas and locations," Necaise said
"I think we'll be able to use Ann Parson's yard as a model," Pascagoula resident Diane Patterson said. "She's done it for 16 years, and I think it's a pretty good job. It looks good."
Necaise says it will take a few months to come up with a new plan that will give residents a way to plant and tend community gardens. Necaise hopes to have guidelines in place by planting season next spring.
By Ken Flanagan
Online Producer Glenn Cummins
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