100 Magnolias Planted As Part of LeFleur's Bluff Education and Tourism Complex Additions
November 16, 2023
The Mississippi Children’s Museum and MDWFP’s Museum of Natural Science celebrated the planting of 100 magnolias at the LeFleur’s Bluff Education and Tourism Complex at LeFleur’s Bluff.
The complex is now home to over 100 magnolias of various shapes, sizes, and varieties - Sweetbay, Saucer, Star, and several Southern Magnolia varieties - planted at the complex's gateway entrance and along Spotter’s Adventure Trail. These trees will bloom throughout the seasons, offering a year-round sensory experience to visitors.
Recent enhancements during this completed phase include the introduction of new landscaping, featuring a scenic path bordered by magnolia trees and various native plant species. Additionally, decorative park benches have been placed along Spotter’s Adventure Trail, providing comfortable resting spots for visitors. The Den, a focal point of the complex, which can be seen by travelers on Interstate 55, now boasts a striking metal mural, designed by Wier Boerner Allin Architecture, and installed by Mitchell Signs. These additions infuse the complex with charm and offer a visually inviting space for the over 350,000 annual guests.
While the new joint entrance at LeFleur’s Bluff Complex has been successfully completed, it is not yet open for full-time public access. The next phase of the project includes parking lot updates that will require the joint entrance to remain closed for a few more months.
“The vision of the masterplan for the LeFleur's Bluff Complex and surrounding area will provide numerous recreational and educational opportunities to attract visitors to our state and city, as well as increasing the well-being of our local community," said Susan Garrard, President of MCM. "Tourism is a major economic driver for our state and the collaboration between MCM, MDWFP, MMNS and the MDWFP Foundation has resulted in inspirational state-of-the-art amenities, which are leading the way in our state for destination development."
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is the signature sponsor of the LeFleur’s Bluff Playground, The Den Outdoor Pavilion, and Spotter’s Adventure Trail.
“We are excited about the completion of another great project at LeFleur's Bluff State Park and appreciate all of the partners who continue to pour into this space," Lynn Posey, Executive Director of Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. "This development is a testament to our shared commitment to enhancing the recreational experiences for our communities and visitors to our great state. We look forward to seeing this fun and exciting complex welcome and inspire outdoor enthusiasts and families for generations to come."
The economic impact of this transformative project is evident through the increased visitor traffic and spending in the area. In a recent study by the University of Southern Mississippi, the LeFleur Museum District sees an average of 369,455 visitors annually and contributes $6 million in visitor spending.