The Mississippi River Delta ecosystem is an interesting place, teeming with life. While the people of the area have a vibrant culture and rich history, the plants and animals are worth spending time with as well. One of the most unique urban parks we’ve ever visited is the Mississippi Cypress Preserve in Greenville, Mississippi. We drove out of our way to stop there and have lunch, and it was worth the small detour we made to take a look.
The park is a 16 acre piece of land with a woodland forest as well as the wetland slough. The bald cypress trees are clustered in several brakes and are easily accessed by wooden boardwalks. There is also a bamboo thicket. While a little out of place, it was pretty neat to see.
The area and the cypresses within were saved from development beginning in the 1930’s by a local garden club. Cypress trees were heavily harvested in North America, and were reduced in number second only to the American Chestnut tree. Where the American Chestnut had blight to blame as well, Cypress trees were reduced by humans as they harvested well beyond any sustainable amounts.
Signs pointed out the many different animals living in the small preserve, including armadillos and red foxes. We were there a little early to see the wildflowers blooming, but it looks like it would be beautiful when they did. Birds were everywhere. I’m not a big bird watcher, but if I were I would have been in heaven.
The visit took about an hour, but any amount of time stopped here during a roadtrip is time well spent.