Get back to nature with us Saturday

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 9, 2019

It’s been pretty cold and rainy over the last few weeks, and while we humans can find ways to keep dry and warm up, it’s not so easy for strays or lost pets.

The Natchez-Adams County Humane Society does a great job of helping animals in need, but they can’t do it alone.

Historic Jefferson College has a fun (though somewhat challenging) way for you to provide some funding for the NACHS, while helping yourself — because who doesn’t have “exercise more” on their New Year’s resolution list?

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HJC is again teaming up again with the Humane Society for our 5th Annual 5K Trail Run for the Animals, on Saturday.

The run will utilize HJC’s nature trails and other property, which, given the weather forecast, may be muddy and slippery, as well as steep and rugged — but that’s all part of the fun. You can help raise money for our Humane Society, and you get to experience nature first hand. And don’t we all need a little more of that in our lives these days?

You may hear one of the five species of woodpeckers we have out here, or see a deer scrape on a sapling.

Maybe you’ll spot an armadillo rustling through the leaves, or one of the raccoons or opossums that call our grounds home. Perhaps you’ll see the pretty little bird with a yellow cap that I saw yesterday (and then you can identify it for me.)

Out on our trails there are bubbling brooks with bridges, St. Catherine Creek, a “two-man” cemetery, a little pond, and gorgeous overlooks of deep ravines.  You’ll get to run or walk along a path that is covered with fallen tulip poplar, sweet gum, oak, and giant sycamore leaves, surrounded by evergreen magnolias, muscadine vines and American beech trees that keep their golden leaves through the winter.

You’ll also pass by unusual manmade things: a concrete “swimming” hole, deep in the woods, built for the cadets of Jefferson Military College 80 years ago; and the remains of Assembly Hall, where our state territorial legislators used to meet in the early 1800s.

You’ll be winding around buildings built from 1819-1937, and along Old North Street, which was one of the original streets of Washington when it was laid out in 1794.

You’ll go under our massive live oaks that drip with Spanish moss, and pass a monument that commemorates when and where our state’s constitution was signed — right there on the grounds of Jefferson College — 200 years ago, in 1817.  Really, this is an experience, which combines history and nature that should not be missed.

We are also in need of volunteers to help with this event. If you can man a water/direction station, or help with registration, time keeping or scoring, please let us know.

Since this is an event to benefit animals, please feel free to bring yours (on a leash), and let them experience the trail as well. One last thing — this event will go on, rain or shine, cold weather or warm, so dress accordingly. Thankfully, this year looks to be about 30 degrees warmer than last year.

The 5K Trail Run for the Animals will start at 10 a.m. Saturday.  The registration fee is $25, and participants who register early will get a T-shirt. Refreshments will follow the race, which is open to both walkers and runners.

There will be awards given for first, second and third place for each running/walking age class, and all the four-legged companions get a special treat, too.

Please make checks out to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society. For more information, contact Lena McKnight at or call 601-442-4001; or Robin Person or call 662-515-0490.  The registration form may also be downloaded from the HJC Facebook site, and the Humane Society accepts credit card payments over the phone or in person.

Historic Jefferson College is part of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and is located northeast of Natchez, off U.S. 61, in the village of Washington.

Robin Seage Person, is site director at Historic Jefferson College.