The landscape makeover of the Kosciusko Welcome Center is more than just a new pretty face. The renovation of the gardens surrounding the center helps to celebrate the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Mississippi.
“The Natchez Trace Parkway was pleased to partner with the Natchez Trace Parkway Association and the City of Kosciusko to revamp the Welcome Center’s garden areas. The project was a team effort that included botanical research, special funding, and plain old hard work,” said Parkway Superintendent Mary Risser.
Some of the Welcome Center’s original plants, including American beauty berries and red buckeye, are native species that were preserved during the renovation. Non-native plants were removed and replaced with native species. Oakleaf hydrangea, star anise, native yellow and honeysuckle azalea, and dwarf fetterbush were planted. Other native species will be added as they become available. The new landscaping serves several purposes. Not only are the plants attractive, but they also provide natural food and habitat for native wildlife and showcase Mississippi’s natural diversity.
“The Welcome Center has been refreshed, and the new plants help to preserve the traditional landscape. It helps us feel even more a part of the Parkway,” said the City of Kosciusko’s Director of Tourism Donna Holdiness.
The Welcome Center has a unique relationship with the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway). The land is federal government property and part of the Parkway. The building, upkeep and services are provided by the City of Kosciusko (City). Together, the Parkway and the City provide information and a break from traveling visitors, much like the naturally landscaped historic stands of the Old Trace.
The Kosciusko Welcome Center is located at milepost 160 on the Parkway, at Kosciusko, Mississippi. The Parkway Visitor Center is located at milepost 266 near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call 1-800-305-7417.
America’s federal lands and waters are living classrooms. Make learning come alive by participating in Every Kid in Park. All current 4th graders and their families can visit national parks, monuments, seashores and more for free. Learn more at www.everykidinapark.gov.