Alliance secures grant for trees at city’s entrances

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; If a community makes a good first impression on visitors or prospective industries, it has a better chance of attracting them to the area to stay.

With that in mind, the Community Alliance has landed a $20,000 grant for beautification along U.S. 61 north and south of the Natchez city limits.

&uot;The community’s made a big effort as of lately to clean up our community,&uot; said Fred Middleton, outgoing Chamber of Commerce president and a member of the alliance.

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&uot;When you’re drawing people into your community, something like this helps send a positive message.&uot;

The grant funds are being provided by the state Department of Transportation and administered by the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

Grant funds can be used to plant trees for erosion control, stream buffers, sight or sound barriers, and shade or aesthetic improvements, among other things.

In Natchez, the funds will be used to plant 200 trees &045; white crepe myrtles and southern magnolias, specifically &045; along the medians.

Bids will be solicited as soon as possible for the project, and planting will take place between October and April, said Cynthia Parker Brumfield, an alliance member who worked to secure the grant.

The $20,000 grant amount includes a $5,000 local match, although Brumfield said in-kind donations and volunteer work can count toward that match.

In addition, chamber President and CEO Laura Godfrey is working to secure grants for new welcome signs at the entrances to town.