OUR OPINION: Music Bend Park gets significant upgrades

By NEMS Daily Journal

Enhancements on the new Music Bend Nature Trail, accessible from The Dog Park on Veterans Boulevard near Eastwood Softball Complex, add a depth of native tree species to the two-mile link, designed for recreational and fitness walking and hiking.
Members of the Northeast Mississippi Native Plant Society used proceeds from a $20,000 private-sector grant in planting species like black gums and oak leaf hydrangeas, honoring the memory of Louise Nanney Godwin and Leland Cook, both leaders in beautification and conservation efforts. The grant was made by Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s.
An additional $40,000 in funds has been applied for from Toyota and the National Audubon Society by the Tupelo Parks and Recreation Department, which will provide labor for further enhancements and help maintain the trail.
The trail provides a good example of how modest sums can provide safe outdoor recreation in the city, and at the same time capture views and up-close experiences with nature usually not easily accessible.
Tupelo, built mostly in the floodplain of Town Creek and its tributaries, has few noteworthy elevations, but carving niches like Music Bend Trail along the creeks and streams broadens perspective of the city’s topography and natural habitat.
Additional funds would be used to further improve the trail and provide hiker-friendly amenities and additional native plant species.
The trail is Internet accessible on smartphones.
The trail is one of several additions to the sprawling city parks in east Tupelo, including Veterans Memorial Park, a sprawling softball complex, a splash pad and the new aquatics center, still under construction.
Overflowing crowds using the attractions are not unusual in good-weather months.
Tupelo’s long-term intentionality in developing a strong, diverse park system citywide continues as a big quality-of-life asset appealing to all ages and many, varied interests.
Camps, classes and cross-country tournaments are planned for the Music Bend Trail’s immediate area.
The parks along Veterans and the Ballard Park complexes in western and southern Tupelo anchor park and recreation facilities.
Visit www.tupeloms.gov/parkandrec/ for additional information.