BOONEVILLE – A lack of stable funding will mean the closing of Crow’s Neck Environmental Education Center in Tishomingo on June 30.
The Northeast Mississippi Community College board voted during its regular meeting Tuesday to end its contract with the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to operate the facility.
College President Johnny Allen told the board that the college foundation and others had pursued several avenues and partnerships to keep the center going, but to no avail.
“The fact of the matter is we have gotten no long-term commitment to support Crow’s Neck,” Allen told the board. “Anyone who knows me knows my desire to keep Crow’s Neck going and how we’ve worked the past seven years to do that.”
The college has been fiscally responsible for Crow’s Neck since 2001. The school gave notice to the water management district last year, as required in its management contract, that unless ongoing funding could be secured, the college could not continue its operations.
Working with Patrick Eaton and the Northeast Development Foundation, as well as Glenn McCullough’s consulting firm, the school has been unable to get pledges to fund the $200,000-$300,000 needed annually to operate the center.
Funding also was sought through a federal appropriation.
The 530-acre facility at Bay Springs lake is a natural science center that offers environmental education and other programs to about 4,500 students annually, as well as meeting and education facilities for civic, community, church groups and others.
The facility’s conference center is owned by the water management district. The property is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The future of the facility and its use is unclear.
“Crow’s Neck is in my county, and we’ve met with the Board of Supervisors to let them know the status,” said Jack Ramsey of Iuka, Northeast board president. “The people out there have done an outstanding job, but it’s unfortunate we’re unable to keep it going.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal