Two hundred crape myrtles planted

Published 11:48 pm Tuesday, April 8, 2008

NATCHEZ — If the drive down St. Catherine Street looks a little greener than usual — it is.

On Tuesday afternoon, members of the Historic Natchez Foundation successfully planted 200 crape myrtle trees along the road.

The planting started at the Forks of the Road site and ended at Martin Luther King Jr. Road.

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Program director for the Foundation, Mimi Miller said the new plantings were installed to beautify one of the main corridors into the city.

“They look wonderful,” she said.

Miller said the project was the brainchild of former Foundation President Darryl Grennell.

“The Sallie Ballard crape myrtle Project is meant to beautify our city,” Grennell said. “It’s great to see it coming together.”

Grennell said he introduced the project during his presidency with Foundation approximately one year ago.

Grennell said he was completely inspired by Sallie Ballard’s project in 2000 when she planted over 2,000 crape myrtles across Natchez.

“We received overwhelming support to make this possible,” he said.

Grennell said donations from Foundation members and volunteer workers made the project possible.

“For the first phase I think everything’s going well,” he said looking down the street at rows freshly planted trees.

Grennell said the trees, in addition to lining St. Catherine Street, also branched off onto side streets.

Grennell said the second phase of the project should have trees going north and south on MLK.

“It’s going to look wonderful,” he said.

Area residents also seemed pleased by the project.

“This is absolutely wonderful,” Margaret Byrd said.

Byrd’s house was one of several to receive new trees.

“It makes the city and the neighborhood look beautiful,” she said. “It’s great.”