TISHOMINGO – Reviving a dormant nonprofit may prove the key to extending the life of the Crow’s Neck Environmental Education Center.
A group of interested parties met earlier this week to discuss that possibility, said Dr. Johnny Allen, president of Northeast Mississippi Community College, which has managed the facility for the past 10 years.
The Northeast Board of Trustees last month voted to end its contract with the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to operate the facility. Barring any new funding sources, the center is slated to close June 30.
“When Crow’s Neck was started back around 1987, a 501(c)3 nonprofit was set up with a five-member board to receive private contributions to Crow’s Neck,” Allen said. “Somewhere along the way it ceased to function.”
The nonprofit has not functioned for at least the past decade that Northeast has operated the center, Allen said, and everyone with knowledge of it thought it had been inactivated with the secretary of state’s office, which monitors nonprofits.
“After all these years it still functions despite inactivity,” Allen said. “Our idea is to see if we can get the original board back together.”
That board consists of representatives from Mississippi State University, Itawamba Community College, University of Mississippi, Northeast and the water management district.
“Of course, none of these individuals were at the table when this organization was formed,” Allen said. He is writing to each institution’s leader to ask them to meet and discuss the possibility of “reorganizing and re-energizing that organization.”
He said a meeting of that board requires 30 days notice, so it will be several weeks before there may be further developments.
“It gives us another option under which we might preserve Crow’s Neck in one way or another, and sets up a new environment for potential donors,” Allen said.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal