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October 1, 2010 Volume 1, Issue 2

Greenways Connections
Inside this issue:

Desoto County Celebrates Family Health and Fitness Day

Desoto Greenways Connections

Fall is a Great Time 2 to Get Outdoors Desoto Visitors Center Trail Greenways Focus: Arkabutla Lake 2


Hernando and Horn 4 Lake parks Austin Family Donates Land Greenways and Family Health Greenways Master plan update 7

The Desoto County Board of Supervisors sponsored Family Health and Fitness Day on Saturday, September 25,2010. It was conceived in part as a response to the U.S. Surgeon General's report on Physical Activity and Health. The holiday's purpose, with the participation of local organizations, was to increase good health awareness and promote family involvement in physical activity.

conjunction with the Hernando Bicycle club. Bo McAninch with the Hernando Bicycle Club said the “Hernando to Arkabutla Lake ride exceeded their normal expectations by including entire families participating in the event with a focus on family health.” The Bicycle Ride was also supported by Desoto County Greenways, University of Memphis & Journeymen Racing . Hernando Girl Scout troop 10702 led by Gia Matheney, Cub Scout Pack 741 from Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church along with several volunteers and others took part in an interpretive hike on the recently opened ARK trails just off MS 304 near Hernando. Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation volunteers Val Smith and Missy Flanagan gave a brief presentation of their work with wildlife rehabilitation and overview of the future nature center. Pat Irby, volunteer with Cub Scout Pack 741 said the event was “very interesting and I really enjoyed the nature hike.”

Hernando Bicycle Club


Cub Scout Pack 741 and Girl Scout Troop 10702 on the ARK trails
Desoto County Greenways participated in the event by sponsoring Bike Rides in Olive Branch and Hernando along with an interpretive hike on the ARK trails. David Baker, Greenways volunteer led the Olive Branch ride. Jeff Shocklee with Hernando’s Ride for Reading bicycle team hosted a morning mountain bike ride at Bayou Point Trail along with 5 mile family fun ride and a 25 mile longer ride for more accomplished riders in

Desoto Greenways Connections
Mailing Address: 316 West Commerce Street, Hernando, MS 38632 Fax: 662-489-5195 Phone: 662-489-9708 Web Address: www.desotogreenways. org

© 2010 Desoto County Greenways

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Welcome to Desoto Greenways Newsletter Connections! By Larry Jarrett
This issue of Desoto Greenways Connections is focused on family health, fitness and related outdoor activities. Getting both children and adults outside can reduce obesity and provide family friendly recreation in the meantime. Our goal is to initiate creative thinking and engagement of our readers that will ultimately improve our greenways system here in Desoto County. We are open to suggestions and comments regarding content and news articles and will be soliciting greenways related articles from others. We want to especially thank the Desoto County Board of Supervisors and the Desoto County Economic Development Council for their continued support for our Greenways program. We are constantly developing our mailing list and hope you will join. If you know of someone that wants to receive the newsletter or volunteer for greenways related activities, pleas email me at or join in on the discussion on Facebook.

Larry Jarrett Desoto Greenways Coordinator

In this month’s issue we offer a variety of greenways news and related articles from around Desoto County as well as article relating to family health and fitness. Mississippi has the highest obesity rate in the nation and although, Desoto County scores better than the rest of the state, we have ample room for improvement.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fall is a great time to get outdoors!
It’s finally Fall and time to get outdoors and a great time to celebrate outdoor recreation and the role it plays with improving the quality of life in Desoto County. Whether biking, hiking, trail running, camping, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting or simply exploring nature, park and recreation facilities provide opportunities for every one of all ages and all backgrounds to enjoy the state's diverse natural resources. Participants can improve their health while supporting recreation opportunities. Fall is a season the whole family can enjoy. When the weather turns crisp and leaves begin to change colors, many people feel that the fun of the year is over until Halloween comes around. However, there are numerous activities that can get the whole family revved up for Fall. Inexpensive crafts and activities abound throughout the season that can make the transition from the warm weather of summer more exciting.

Desoto County Visitors Center Trail Update
The Desoto County Visitor’s Center trail construction is complete except for landscaping and tree planting which is scheduled for later this fall. The project is a collaborative effort between the Desoto County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau , Desoto County Greenways and the Desoto County Tourism Association. The 1/4 mile handicapped accessible interpretive trail circles the storm water retention pond on the outer edges of the civic center and will feature native landscaping. The pet friendly trail will provide visitors and residents a place to walk, stretch, picnic or peaceful rest.

Visitor’s Center Trail Diagram

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Greenways Focus: Arkabutla Lake
Mississippi State University’s Natural Resources Enterprises Program recently published information on the economic impact of outdoor recreation in Mississippi. For example, the annual economic impact from hunting was $1.2 billion; fishing -$690 million; and wildlife watching - $791 million for a total economic impact of $2.7 billion. This economic activity included both private and public lands and supported over 71,000 jobs. Desoto County is fortunate to have Arkabutla Lake and the Coldwater River system that not only provides recreational and associated health benefits, but generates an economic impact to the local community. The money spent by visitors to Corps lakes on trip expenses adds to the local and national economies by supporting jobs and generating income. residents and visitors generating over $ 21.4 million in annual visitor spending with 55% being captured by the local economy. Desoto County residents are fortunate to have diverse outdoor recreational opportunities readily available with public land access with Arkabutla Lake and surrounding public lands. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, boating, or just enjoying the outdoors, Arkabutla Lake provides a variety of opportunities for all outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Activities and areas established for recreation include: trails for hiking and biking, picnic areas, picnic shelters, ADA parking spaces at the boat ramps and recreation areas, an ADA accessible fishing pier, 3 swimming beaches including one that is ADA accessible, ADA accessible playgrounds, a variety of campgrounds. Recreation on the lake provides for some of the best fishing in the Southeast and some of the best sailing east of the Mississippi River. The Arkabutla lake area has over 30,000 acres of land open for public hunting. Desoto County Greenways is proud to be partnering with the US Army Corp of Engineers –Arkabutla Lake to promote their outdoor recreational activities –specifically with the construction and promotion of the Arkabutla Nature Center Trails system and the connection of Greenways with the Public lands around Arkabutla Lake. A few of the activities at Arkabutla include: Hiking – Arkabutla Lake has The Arkabutla Lake Nature and Environmental Education Center trails, which opened this spring, consists of 2 miles of woodland walking trails located 10 miles west of Hernando on Highway 304 just west of Fogg Road. Look for signs and parking area on the left just past Panther Creek. Biking – As a result of the partnership between the Corps of Engineers and the Mid-South Trails Association an off-road, 4.7 miles mountain bicycle trail has been established at Bayou Point. Disc Golf – A partnership between the Corps of Engineers and DeSoto county Disc Golf Club has rendered an 18-hole disc golf course near Pratt Road below the dam. The Lost Indian Spring Disc Golf Course is 5,623 feet. Use of the trails system and disk golf is free. The Army Corps of Engineers is the steward of the lands and waters at Corps water resources projects. Its Natural Resource Management Mission is to manage and conserve those natural resources, consistent with ecosystem management principles, while providing quality public outdoor recreation experiences to serve the needs of present and future generations. For more information visit: Arkabutla

Coldwater River Nature Trail

Coldwater River Nature Trail
four trails for hiking, mountain bike riding, or just enjoying the outdoors. The North Outlet Channel Recreation Area provides access to the Coldwater River Nature Trail System. This network of trails encompasses two hiking trails (one trail is 3 miles in length and the other is 5 miles in length) and the Big Oak Nature Trail which is a self-guided interpretive trail. The area includes pristine bottomland hardwood and pine forests where an abundance of wildlife and native plant species can be found throughout.

Arkabutla Lake
Visitor spending represents a sizable component of the economy in many communities around Corps lakes. According to the Corps natural and recreational resources at Arkabutla Lake already provide social, economic and environmental benefits for

Exercise and Outdoor Recreation

Better Health

Reduced Health Care Costs

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Hernando and Horn Lake Earn Recognition for Parks
August 18, 2010 Hernando and Horn Lake were among the 118 cities and towns across the country that earned recognition as a “Playful City”, ensuring children in their communities are active and healthy. This is the first year Horn Lake has earned this designation and the third year for Hernando. Only 30 of the 118 cities received this recognition for the third consecutive year. Playful City USA communities are making a commitment to play and physical activity by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community. In doing so, some of the most innovative ideas and cost-effective programs are being developed in Playful City USA communities – proving that parks and play are more important than ever.

Latimer Lakes Park

Lee’s Summit Park

We need you!
Please contact us if you have any information that you would like to include in our newsletter! 662-489-9708

Austin Family Donates more Land for Greenways
Austin Land Donation
October 1, 2010 Brothers Bill and Gerry Austin announce a 10-acre donation to the North Mississippi Land Trust Mississippi to expand the Johnson Creek Greenway. This was the second donation from the Austin family to the North Mississippi Land Trust for the benefit of the Desoto County Greenways Program and the Johnson Creek Greenway. DeSoto County Greenways Coordinator Larry Jarrett said the land eventually would be developed as part of the existing Johnson Creek Greenway that begins at Baldwin Rd and will eventually end at the Mississippi River. This strip of land begins at the intersection of Church Road as it crosses Johnson Creek and connects with land previously donated by the Austin Family just west of MS 301 near Austin Rd. The Johnson Creek Trail runs parallel to and was planned in conjunction with utility easements obtained by Entergy and the DeSoto County Regional Utility Authority. See related article below.

DCRUA Construction along Johnson Creek

The Johnson Creek Greenway Update
The Johnson Creek Greenway project is awaiting the completion of the Desoto County regional utility Authority main interceptor line construction which is scheduled for sometime later this year. We are in the design phase of the parking areas and trails and research is almost complete documenting the areas historical, cultural, ecological and educational values associated with the property. Signs have already been installed at Baldwin Rd and Highway 61 and easements are in place for the first phase of construction. The Johnson Creek greenway will include interpretive signage, outdoor environmental and education classroom, wildlife viewing area and landscaped parking areas including a constructed wetlands. Plans include planting native grasses for wildlife under and around the utility easements. No trail work can begin until the sewer line is completed.

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Mississippi Gets Second Rails to Trails Project: The Tanglefoot Trail
ational District guided by Three Rivers Planning and Development District made its first application in July 2006 and has been working diligently since then to purchase, develop and construct the trail. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy noted in 2007 that the Tanglefoot Trail, named after one of the engines used in the construction of the railroad, is poised to become an impressive rural the examples of offerings along other recreational trails. While economic opportunities for the communities along the trail as well as our region abound, the Tanglefoot Trail will provide people of all ages with an attractive place to bike, walk, jog , perhaps participate in an adjacent trail ride on horses or simply enjoy being outdoors. The trailheads and a gateway will be located in New Albany, Pontotoc and Houston with Whistle Stops in Ecru, Algoma and Houlka. Rest stops and overlooks along the trail will provide numerous opportunities for nature enthusiasts to enjoy themselves as well. With construction planned to begin in early 2011, hopes are high that the summer and fall of 2012 will find many enjoying the Tanglefoot Trail. “With all that is happening in regards to heritage tourism in north Mississippi our three counties now have a wonderful opportunity to reap economic benefits from a unique rails to trails project and offer our citizens and visitors an opportunity to enjoy being outdoors. While we are excited about being able to begin construction, we are eagerly awaiting the chance to ride.” says Betsey Hamilton, Chairman, GM & O Rails to Trails Recreational District.

New Albany, MS -

The Tanglefoot Trail located in the Mississippi Hills National Heritage area will preserve the abandoned railroad corridor assembled for the Ripley Railroad by Col. W.C. Falkner in 1871. With its storied past, the 44.5 mile 10’wide asphalt trail will offer multi-use recreational opportunities as it winds through six communities, forests, fields, pastures, and wetlands in Union, Pontotoc and Chickasaw counties in northeast Mississippi. Bikers, walkers, and joggers will enjoy the beauty of the trees, the meadows, the creeks, the flora and the fauna with an occasional stop to learn a bit of history about the area and each of the communities: New Albany, Ecru, Pontotoc, Algoma, Houlka and Houston. An equestrian trail will parallel the asphalt trail in appropriate places. The approximately $10 million rails-to-trails project is made possible through Federal Transportation Enhancement funds administered by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, partial funding from MDOT and a grant from Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks. The GM&O Rails to Trails Recre-

Tanglefoot Trail before Construction

“The Tanglefoot Trail will provide people of all ages with an attractive place to bike, walk, jog , perhaps participate in an adjacent trail ride on horses or simply enjoy being outdoors. “ Betsey Hamilton, Chairman—GM & O Rails to Trails Recreational District

recreational trail with heritage tourism potential. The trail will follow the old rail line as well as parts of the Chickasaw trail created as these native Americans moved about the region and the path of Meriwether Lewis. The Tanglefoot Trail can easily provide access to the Ingomar Mounds, a National Heritage Site, located near the Ingomar community in Union County. The trail will afford a variety of opportunities for people to capitalize on the many users who will be coming to the area from across the country. Restaurants, cafes, refreshment stands, bike shops with rentals, retail outlets, B & Bs, campgrounds, stables, artist’s and craftsmen’s studios or workshops are just a few of

“You can’t conserve what you haven’t got.” ~Marjory
Stoneman Douglas

2010 BikeMS

http:// index.html

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Greenways Gets Master Plan Update and Goals
Desoto County Greenways recently met for a strategic planning session to update the original Greenways Master plan which was originally developed in 2005. The planning session attendees included Desoto Greenways committee members, North MS Land Trust Board members, Desoto Economic Council members, County officials and several representatives from the various user groups. The new plan adds additional proposed bike trails and greenways; identifies City parks and green space as a result of a County-wide inventory with help of Leadership Desoto. During the planning session, participants reviewed the Greenways mission, the Greenways Coordinator’s scope of work, future plans and objectives. The group also identified goals and marketing ideas in the form of a matrix which David Baker, with Fisher and Arnold, authors of the Master Plan provided along with a new proposed greenways map. In addition to the Coldwater River Blueway, several proposed bike trails were added throughout the County. Protected lands, wetlands and existing green space were identified as major hubs along with the associated links which connect the green space that also can be used for recreation and wildlife corridors. The plan also identifies future expansion of some of the trails to Tunica and Tate Counties. We welcome any questions or comments on the future plans for Desoto Greenways and how we can further make Desoto County a better place to live. See Matrix, on page 8 and Greenways Master Plan Map below:

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Greenways, Family Health and the Nature-Deficit Disorder
Many people realize exercise is important for maintaining good health in all stages of life; however many do not regularly exercise. The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that 60% of American adults are not regularly active and another 25% are not active at all. In communities across the country, people do not have access to trails, parks, or other recreation areas close to their homes. Trails and greenways provide a safe, inexpensive avenue for regular exercise for people living in rural, urban and suburban areas. The idea of humans as an integral part of nature as it relates to physical and mental health is not new. A simple walk in the woods, even in a city park, is refreshing, because that is what we have always done. It is not only refreshing; but, also a reminder of our place in the universe. People are naturally drawn to nature and the outdoors. A visit to the oceans, a park, mountains or just a walk through the forest relaxes us and makes us feel good. Experts now tell us that this attraction isn't by chance and that we humans need to be close to nature on a regular basis. In his recent book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv links the absence of nature in the lives of today’s children to some of the disturbing trends, including the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. He contends that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and the physical and emotional health of both children and adults. In addition, Louv links nature deficit to a loss of creativity and a loss for respect for nature and the living world. In addition, the beneficial effects of natural settings, and even of looking at pictures of landscapes, can be measured, and have been verified in psychological studies. Laura Seawall, a leading pioneer in the field of Ecopsychology, contends that, in a technology driven world, the daily demands on our lives have caused us to narrow our field of vision, effectively numbing of our senses. She argues that, although our sensory capacities––taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch– –are fundamental avenues of connection between self and world, we have become psychically numb and oblivious to the natural world around us. We have a growing appreciation of the values of nature, including its intrinsic value We can restore our own health and the health of the planet by conserving green space, building trails and greenways and getting both children and adults outdoors for exercise.

Join the Desoto County Economic Development Council Call:662-429-4414 316 West Commerce Street Hernando, MS 38632

"The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses." — Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from NatureDeficit Disorder)

Cub Scouts from Pack 741

Children on ARK trails

Upcoming Events
“Romp on the River”
Saturday October 16, 2010 at the Tunica River Park, Tunica MS All Day Event! “National Trails Symposium” Chattanooga, TN October 14-17, 2010
“Desoto County Economic Development Council’s Third Quarterly Membership Luncheon” Friday, October 1, 2010 Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center, Olive Branch, MS. Featuring Keynote Speaker Rao Mulpuri, CEO, Soladigm, Inc. “Southaven’s 2nd Annual 5K Run” Saturday, October 23, 9:00 at Snowden Grove Park in Southaven, MS “4th Annual Wolf River Greenway 4-Miler and Family Fun Walk.” Germantown—Wolf River Greenway October 16,2010

“Horn Lake Autumn in the Park Fall Festival” October 14-16, 2010

Please email and let us know about upcoming Greenways related events!


316 West Commerce Street Hernando, MS 38632 Phone: 662-489-9708 Fax: 662-489-5195 E-mail:

About Us
The mission of the Desoto County Greenways program is to establish a greenway system that connects public and private open and green spaces with sidewalks throughout Desoto County Mississippi while protecting, restoring and linking the natural features and their functions in order to achieve a healthy natural environment and ecological diversity. The Desoto County Greenways program encompasses scenic pathways, protected green space and trails designed to help improve the quality of life for the people of Desoto County Mississippi. The Greenways system takes advantage of nature and its beauty and will encompass a variety of multipurpose trails and green space suitable for hiking, skating, jogging, walking, running, equestrian use, canoeing and kayaking and biking. Desoto County Greenways operates under the umbrella of the Desoto County Economic Development Council. The program is supported by state and County Elected officials, an advisory council plus numerous public and private Desoto County individuals. The Greenways advisory committee meets regularly and encourages you to get involved to make Desoto County a better place to live now and in the future. Everyone is welcome to help so call 662-489-9708 or visit online to find out how you can help make this plan a reality.

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