Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Green is good for the soul. Many of us have found ourselves spending days at a time working from home or otherwise staying indoors. Venturing out and embracing nature may be just the mental reprieve we have been needing, and the capital city has options aplenty for residents and visitors alike to peruse.
Mississippi Children's Museum's Gertrude C. Ford Literacy Garden (2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org)
Designed to encourage early language and reading-skill development for children 8 years old and under, the 13,000-square-foot outdoor gallery includes literary-inspired sculptures, native plants and an edible garden, among other features. The museum has used the space to host a number of events and presently uses it for outside story time, wherein staff read to guests.
Lefleur's Bluff State Park (3315 Lakeland Terrace, 601-987-3923, mdwfp.com)
Available to the public year-round, the 305-acre state park harbors a number of amenities for nature-lovers such as picnic areas, five nature trails, a nine-hole golf course, two nine-hole disc golf courses, 10 tent-only camping sites and 28 camping sites for either tents or RVs. Visitors are open to boat on or fish at Pearl River and Mayes Lake. The area also contains the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
Parham Bridges Park (5055 Old Canton Road, 601-956-1105, jacksonms.gov)
In addition to a children's playground, the park also boasts a pavilion, a picnic area, a tennis court and a walking trail that many Jacksonians regularly use for exercise, as seen on the park's Facebook page.
Country Club of Jackson (345 St. Andrews Drive, 601-956-1411, ccjackson.com)
With 400 acres of terrain at its disposal, the country club offers a number of non-contact sports for those seeking some friendly outdoor competition, including golf, croquet, tennis and pickleball. Instructors are available to help both veteran and rookie players improve their game. CCJ's golf course features 27 holes, broken into three nines, and the club regularly hosts tournaments.
Eudora Welty House & Garden (1109 Pinehurst St., 601-353-7762, mdah.ms.gov/welty)
Outside the home where the Pulitzer Prize-winning author lived and wrote her beloved works lies a colorful garden ready to catch your eye and interest. The attraction's website provides a detailed list of what flowers are in bloom at the garden each season, meaning that visits throughout the year offer opportunities to gaze upon different scenery.
Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515, msmuseumart.org)
Just outside its entrance, the Mississippi Museum of Art maintains a 1.2-acre park called The Art Garden, which contains a spacious lawn, seasonal foliage, native garden beds, permanent art installations, fountains and outdoor terrace dining. The art museum uses the outdoor space for a number of events throughout each year, including live music, film screenings and more.
Mynelle Gardens (4736 Clinton Blvd., 601-960-1894)
The garden features a walking path surrounded by a number of plants, as well as a lake, sculptures, and a sitting area with benches and a fountain.
UPDATE: The following entries have been added to the online version of this article since its originally published date.
Greenwood Cemetery (greenwoodcemeteryjackson.org)
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a Mississippi Landmark, Greenwood features more than 40 varieties of trees, more than 250 antique roses, and monuments honoring a number of renown Jacksonians of past. Brochures with self-directed walking tours are available at the Summer House, the only wooden structure in the cemetery.
Do you have a favorite public nature spot to add to the list? Send tips to deputy editor [email protected].