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Wildflower work garners Extension national award
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service recently received a national award from Keep America Beautiful for its role in the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi Project.
Brett Rushing, an assistant Extension and research professor at the MSU Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton, accepted the Keep America Beautiful State Agency Partner Award during the organization’s national conference Jan. 18 in Dallas.
“I am excited to have Extension recognized for our involvement in this ongoing project,” said Rushing, whose research focuses on native grasses and conservation crops. “This project is a great example of what the university’s Extension and research divisions contribute to the state and citizens.”
Each year, the award recognizes multiple individuals and organizations for their commitment to and passion for beautifying public spaces. Officials of Keep Mississippi Beautiful nominated Extension for the award.
Rushing developed a seed blend that performs well in Mississippi for the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi Project. Coordinated by Keep Mississippi Beautiful, the project began in 2015 and aims to fill available and suitable areas in the state with native wildflowers and grasses. Rushing studies planting methods and maintenance practices at various sites planted around the state, including four research plots at the Experiment Station in Newton. Cities participating in the project include Hattiesburg, Winona, Tupelo, Ridgeland, Cleveland, Raymond, Magee, Mendenhall, Clinton, Crystal Springs and Madison.
“We are grateful to Mississippi State University Extension and Dr. Rushing for their guidance on the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi legacy project,” said Sarah Kountouris, Keep Mississippi Beautiful executive director. “Dr. Rushing’s expertise in and dedication to conservation and native species is key to the success of the statewide project.”
Extension was among more than 80 recipients of the State Agency Partner Award this year. Others receiving the award included the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
For more information about the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi, visit the project website at https://mswildflowers.org/. Find more information about Extension’s work with the wildflower project by visiting the Extension website at http://extension.msstate.edu/news/feature-story/2017/wildflower-project-brightens-state-highways. Learn more about Rushing’s research related to the project by visiting the Extension website at http://extension.msstate.edu/news/feature-story/2017/wildflower-project-tests-best-growing-methods.