This past weekend I was a senior “mentor” (as I like to think of it) on the Croft Institute for International Studies’ annual freshman orientation weekend. For the third year in a row, we went to Crow’s Neck in northwest Mississippi (up around New Albany) for group bonding activities and fun in the great outdoors.
We enjoyed great food, a campfire complete with s’mores and ghost stories, volleyball and cooperation activities at the nearby lake, and stayed in beautiful dorm-style cedar cabins.
Unfortunately the Crow’s Neck staff told us their funding was going to run out July 2011, not due to lack of attendance or interest in the center, but just because the stimulus money has run out. The staff are coordinating a letter-writing campaign to urge Mississippi senators and representatives to save Crow’s Neck for years to come.
The staff are sending them all off this Friday, September 3rd, so hurry! Address your letters to Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Roger Wicker, and Congressman Travis Childers and send them to:
Crow’s Neck Rescue
P.O. Box 254
New Albany, MS 38652
Or if you can’t make the deadline, send them independently. Here’s the text of the letter I’m sending:
Senator Thad Cochran,
I am writing to inform you of an important issue which needs your attention. The Crow’s Neck Environmental Education Center is one of many northwest Mississippi’s gems, providing exposure to Mississippi’s natural beauty and education about its native flora and fauna. The center loses its funding July 2011, denying future generations the opportunity to visit Crow’s Neck and learn all of the valuable information the staff have to share.
Although I am a Colorado native, I am a registered Mississippi voter and student at the Croft Institute of International Studies at the University of Mississippi. I visited Crow’s Neck this past August as part of the freshman orientation which the Croft Institute has held there for the past three years. The area is pristine; reminding one of what Teddy Roosevelt must have seen when he visited Mississippi decades ago. The cabins are filled with the aroma of the cedar planks they are made from and are the perfect respite from the summer’s heat or the winter’s cold. A group of us sat out one night admiring the reflection of the moon on the lake, distorted by the gentle rippling waves, hearing only our voices echoing through the woods and the wind through the trees. I am certain that if you could have been there, you would want to save Crow’s Neck as much as we do.
Even though money is hard to come by during these hard times, it is worth looking for to save Crow’s Neck. More than ever, it is important that we strive to preserve our country’s natural beauty and educate the next generations about the environment. We are all concerned about global warming and pollution, regardless of political affiliation and state of residence, and preserving places like Crow’s Neck is one way to save our environment for generations to come. I urge you to help save Crow’s Neck Environmental Education Center so that we can all be proud of Mississippi’s natural beauty and commitment to the environment.
Now go write your own!