Developed creek would good for area

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

For hundreds and hundreds of years the people of what is now Southwest Mississippi have used their hands and their minds to shape the land on which they live.

The Natchez Indians &8212; whose culture is believed to have begun around 700 A.D. &8212; farmed the land and built great mounds some of which still stand today as modern reminders of ancient marvels.

Such mound building took great vision and lots of hard work. Modern day inhabitants of this area are still looking at ways to develop the land for the betterment of society.

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Last week a group of area leaders met to discuss the possible development of the St. Catherine Creek. The creek is obviously historically and environmentally important, but aesthetically and functionally, it is not much more than a drainage ditch during non-rainy periods.

Plans under consideration would change that through construction of a series of dams and spillways that would increase the creek&8217;s average water level to a more useful level.

Imagine how wonderful it would be to have a navigable creek running through the heart of Natchez. The beauty of St. Catherine Creek is well known. Unfortunately, given the consistently low water levels, getting down the creek to see that beauty can be a challenge.

In our mind&8217;s eye, we can already see groups of youth canoeing from Historic Jefferson College to the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.

We applaud the city of Natchez and Mayor Phillip West for reviving an idea originally begun two decades ago. It&8217;s a good plan and one that would help make the area all the more attractive for residents and visitors alike.