Group works to spruce up bluff area

Published 10:59 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NATCHEZ — A city organization’s plans to beautify the bluffs has expanded to encompass landscaping and trees.

The Mayor’s Beautification Committee, partnering with Keep Natchez-Adams County Beautiful, received a $5,000 grant from Waste Management several weeks ago to help clear the bluffs of litter.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the committee discussed the need for benches along the bluffs and caring for the live oaks that shade the area.

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“No one has a place to sit,” member Laura Godfrey said. “People drag the picnic tables around. If we could do six benches along the bluff, that would be wonderful.”

Godfrey said she would look into finding benches like those recently placed along Canal Street.

Godfrey also said she was worried about the condition of the trees.

“The live oaks along the bluff are dying,” Godfrey said.

The trees need yearly fertilization and more frequent watering, City Arborist Margaret Graves, who was not able to attend the meeting, said afterward.

“A lot are under stress,” Graves said. “One was struck by lightning. They all need a thorough cleaning out of dead (material).”

The commission agreed to accept bids for examination of the trees and landscaping of a mound of dirt between Cock of the Walk and the parking lot on the bluff.

City Community Development Coordinator Darlene Jones suggested that the Mayor’s Youth Council and other area youth organizations might be interested in volunteering to help clean up the bluffs.

She also suggested fundraisers might be in order.

“(That) $5,000 is not really going to go a long way,” Jones said. “We’re going to have to come up with something creative so we can do this.”

After the commission finishes the bluff project, they hope to address the idea of a recycling program, committee member Stephanie Hutchins said.