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Grant helps arboretum reach wider audience
PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Staff at the Southeast’s premier nature conservatory now can spread the word about the facility and events to a broader audience.
The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune received a $15,000 grant from Visit Mississippi and the Mississippi Development Authority. The arboretum was donated to MSU in 1997 by the arboretum foundation and is a unit of the MSU Extension Service.
The funds will be used to promote greater awareness of the public garden and increase site visits.
“We’re very excited about this,” said Pat Drackett, arboretum director. “We have limited funds available for advertisement and promotion, and this will definitely be beneficial in reaching the public to let them know about what our public garden has to offer.”
The grant has funded banner stands for arboretum events that display flags with artwork designed by a graphic design class project through the MSU Center for the Advancement of Service Learning Excellence. Students developed professional graphics for three of the arboretum’s largest events: Bugfest, Forge Day and the Piney Woods Heritage Festival.
The Visit Mississippi grant has already funded several demonstrations and performances for events, including the Audubon Nature Institute’s Bugmobile exhibit at Bugfest and a dance performance at the Piney Woods Heritage Festival by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
Drackett said the grant will make possible the production of event posters, social media advertising and other promotional items.
The Crosby Arboretum preserves, protects and displays native plants of the Pearl River Drainage Basin ecosystem for the education and enjoyment of the public on the 104-acre interpretive site. An additional 700 acres of natural areas located off-site serve as destinations for field trips and botanical research.
Cultural, scientific and recreational programs are offered year-round by MSU experts, guest lecturers and volunteers.