Members of the NCAT Gulf States Office have been attending the Mississippi Urban Forest Council (MUFC) conference in Jackson this week – and having a whale of a time.
Held at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science at LeFleurs Bluff State Park, the conference has visitors pass a giant whale fossil in the lobby that commands attention! The 70-foot long specimen is the “state fossil” for the state of Mississippi; the 80 percent complete skeleton — Zygorhiza kochii from the late Eocene Period – was found in the Tinsley area of Yazoo County. It is affectionately called “Ziggy.”
But some even bigger issues (to living folk) are being displayed in the auditorium.
MUFC Executive Director Donna Yowell (shown) has compiled a program for the three-day event that stresses the importance of green spaces in urban areas.
NCAT Gulf States Outreach Coordinator Jim Ewing is a member of the MUFC board of directors and has been active in formulating “edible forests” — plants suitable for small plots in urban settings. Based on a permaculture model, small plots of nut, fruit and berry shrubs and trees can provide a demonstration of where our food comes from, for city parks, schools, churches and other urban areas. They also can frame community gardens or market gardens or community supported agriculture plots to provide perennial plant foods.
The MUFC conference continues through Friday.
For more on the Mississippi Urban Forest Council, see: http://www.msurbanforest.com/
For more on edible forests, see the ATTRA publication, Community Orchards: https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=441
For information or technical assistance in urban agriculture in the Gulf States Region, contact the NCAT office in Jackson: toll free (866) 643-2767.