By REGGIE ROSS
Friends of Chakchiuma Swamp got an early start on the year at the Lee Tartt Nature Preserve, hosting their first work day to tidy up the area.
About a dozen of the swamp faithful came together Saturday to get a look at the Main Street area.
“Winter is a great time to work outside, there is no sweat and no mosquitoes,” said Naturalist Robin Whitfield. “This is the first time of the year where we collect miscellaneous trash, clear trails and remove invasive plants threatening the biodiversity of the swamp.”
Friends took advantage of the brief sunshine to get into the hard crevices, normally difficult to reach during the highly-vegetated summer months, to remove unwanted items.
Volunteers worked in the morning placing all types of debris and litter into large garbage bags. Longtime member Sandra McCaulla said they are working to do more to control the illegal dumping out there.
“There’s a old television over there, there’s a deer carcass over there, and large ruts caused by trucks and four wheelers mud-riding out here,” McCaulla said.
“That’s not what we need, and this is why the work day is so important,” she added. “During the summer months you couldn’t see a lot of this stuff because everything is so grown up.”
At noon they took a lunch break and enjoyed slices of pizza as they looked out at the Cypress trees, ducks and high water.
Whitfield hasn’t wasted any time this year getting the ball rolling at the preserve.
Earlier this month she applied for a trial program through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.
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