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Smart Growth for Small Towns

Smart Growth for Small Towns relates the principles of Smart Growth to towns and rural communities, providing examples, discussion, explanation, and advice on community design and development.

The educational information provided on this site is intended to contribute to an understanding of the intent and purpose of the Smart Growth principles. However, planning for the future of our small towns requires input from a variety of fields and includes issues of design, policymaking, and governance. This site is focused primarily upon design issues associated with small towns and is intended to serve as a resource for government officials, teachers, designers, and the general public.

The explanation of each Smart Growth principle includes the following:

A.) Discussion of the purpose of the principles and why it is important.

B.) Strategies that suggest actions communities can take to help achieve the goals of the principle.

Ten Principles of Smart Growth:

  1. Mix land uses
  2. Take advantage of compact building design
  3. Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
  4. Create walkable neighborhoods
  5. Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
  6. Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas
  7. Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
  8. Provide a variety of transportation choices
  9. Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective
  10. Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions

Smart Growth for Small Towns is a cooperative project of Extension faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development. For more information contact Michael Seymour, Associate Extension Professor at Michael.Seymour@msstate.edu or Jeremy Murdock, Research Associate at Jeremy@sig.msstate.edu.

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News

 A closeup of the official Monarch Waystation sign is shown in the revitalized children's educational garden at the MSU Crosby Arboretum
Filed Under: Master Gardener, Plants and Wildlife, Places for Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife December 4, 2017

A project by the Pearl River County Master Gardeners aims to help increase populations of monarch butterflies by providing habitat and educating the public.

This past spring, the group revamped a portion of the children’s educational garden at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum to serve as an official, certified Monarch Waystation. Master Gardener members recently dedicated the garden with the placement of a sign from Monarch Watch, the nonprofit organization that manages the waystation program.

One woman uses a shovel to break open a rootball on a small, unplanted tree while another woman and a man assist.
Filed Under: Master Gardener, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers November 21, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Several Mississippi Master Gardener groups marked the state's bicentennial with near-perfect tributes -- by donating and planting Magnolia grandifloras in their communities.

"The tributes are perfect in a state known for its generosity, service to others and love for the environment," said Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Filed Under: Community October 31, 2017

The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum will host the Piney Woods Heritage Festival on Nov. 18.

The 15th annual event celebrates the region’s heritage with presentations, displays and demonstrations of historical skills and crafts, including blacksmithing, spinning, basket making, quilting and more.

Filed Under: Community, Environment October 12, 2017

BILOXI, Miss. -- The 2017 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup has been rescheduled for Nov. 18 in the aftermath of Hurricane Nate. 

“Authorities have closed all beaches for the cleaning that has to be done after the hurricane,” said Eric Sparks, event co-coordinator and assistant professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “It is illegal for anyone to be on the beaches until authorities reopen them, so we had to postpone our cleanup event.”

Volunteer teenagers use a prop resembling the human brain to demonstrate brain function to children.
Filed Under: 4-H, Junior Master Wellness Volunteer September 28, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- October is Children’s Health Month, but Mississippi’s Junior Master Wellness Volunteers are dedicated year-round to “promoting healthy living through community connections” in the state.

The Junior Master Wellness Volunteer program, or JrMWV, is a community health education and volunteer leader training program offered through the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program in partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the UMMC/Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute.

Ann Sansing, MSU Extension community health coordinator, said this is the latest program developed in a five-year partnership with the medical center around delivery of the Community Health Advocate curriculum, which began there under the leadership of Dr. Rick deShazo. 

Success Stories

•	(clockwise from top left) Smiling blonde woman; man wearing tan hat; man wearing maroon dress shirt; man wearing grey vest; woman wearing glasses; and woman in front of books
Community Extension Matters: Volume 3 Number 4

Since joining Mississippi State University as a development officer nearly 2 years ago, alumnus Will Staggers has been hard at work cultivating private support for the MSU Extension Service.

Woman in glasses smiles in front of brick building
City and County Government Extension Matters: Volume 3 Number 4

Eunice Blake has spent more than 35 years serving Amite County citizens in the tax assessor and collector’s office.

In those years, she’s looked to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for support.

A child uses colorful LEGO bricks at a 4-H Robotics competition.
STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math, Dairy, Pesticide Applicator Certification, City and County Government, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, Soil Testing, Natural Resources Extension Matters: Volume 3 Number 3

4-H Debuts New Curriculum · Extension Develops Workforce · La-Z-Boy Donates Fabric · Stars Focus On Sustainability · Extension Directs Herbicide Training · Youth Discover Dairy Science · Soil Lab Welcomes New Manager

brightly colored wooden fence and gate
Community, Family Dynamics, Flower Gardens, Youth Gardening Extension Matters: Volume 3 Number 3

Before she became the Hancock County Youth Court judge, Elise Deano was a school teacher. She jokes that she became a lawyer because she taught school, but Deano wants to make sure young people get an opportunity to turn their lives around.

A male retiree in a plaid shirt and khaki slacks sits in front of a piano. On its soundboard is a picture of his late wife in her wedding gown and gloves.
About Extension, Master Gardener Extension Matters: Volume 3 Number 3

In 2016, Myrtle native Michael Hale was looking for a meaningful, lasting way to remember his late wife, Vicki M. Smith.

 

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