Wolf River Coastal Preserve offers abundant variety of nature

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - It's a beautiful spot to learn about nature or simply enjoy it. Friday morning, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation hosted a field day at the Wolf River Coastal Preserve.

It's a scenic getaway maintained by the help of volunteers.

"Today we are on the Wolf River Coastal Preserve, which was purchased in 2008," said Ali Leggett, with the DMR's coastal preserve program.

"There are about 20 coastal preserves over the three coastal counties in Mississippi. Currently the state has 37,000 acres that is managed as coastal habitat for conservation," Leggett explained.

The 101 acre Wolf River preserve features a unique diversity of habitats; from long leaf pine to pitcher plant bogs. A walk along the Bells Ferry trail quickly becomes a botany lesson.

Do you know about the carnivorous sun dew plant?

"When the bug crawls on the leaves, because they're attracted by the glistening dew, the leaf will eventually close over the bug," said Leah Bray, with the Mississippi Habitat Stewards program.

The DMR is responsible for managing these coastal preserves, but volunteers are lending a much appreciated helping hand through the Mississippi Wildlife Federation's Habitat Stewards Program.

"The premise of the habitat stewards is to go to our land managers and help them. Be an extension of their staff, because we know that there is very limited funding and resources anymore with any of our public lands management," said Bray.

Volunteer work from the habitat stewards includes anything from clearing trails to picking up litter. 47 stewards have donated 5,500 hours of service.

"So, these guys come and they have loved this place to death. It's really a beautiful trail. A lot of diversity here, and a great way to just kind of go and walk to the river. Sit and watch the river go by," said Cythia Ramseur, with the Mississippi Wildlife Federation.

The trail loop leads to the Wolf River. Though just over a mile away from busy Interstate 10, there is serenity at the preserve site.

The scenic getaway owned by the state is loved and appreciated by those who visit; either to explore, or merely enjoy.

The Wolf River Coastal Preserve was purchased by the State of Mississippi in 2008. The hiking trail is located right off Bells Ferry Road, just east of Menge Avenue.

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