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Crosby Arboretum: A gem little known locally

Crosby Arboretum here in Pearl River County is nationally and internationally known, but little known here in its home county and state.

The arboretum, founded by Lynn Gammill and Oz Crosby in memory of their father, the late L.O. Crosby Jr., has won awards for its Pinecote Pavilion, designed by the late E. Fay Jones, an internationally renowned architect from Arkansas. It has won awards for its devotion to preserving and showcasing the plant life of the lower Pearl River drainage system.

The landscape architect who designed the arboretum, the late Ed Blake, a native Mississippian, was well known at home and abroad.

Privately funded in the beginning, the arboretum today is part of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The arboretum has reached out locally with a great many programs, yet still is little recognized for the asset it is to Picayune, Pearl River County and Mississippi. Perhaps that is because it appears so ordinary to the people who live here. After all, it is sort of a museum of the things we see every day, from cypress, sassafras, red bay, red maple, and the plethora of other trees that grow up all around us to the flowers, shrubs and vines that are so common to all who walk in the woods around here.

Many of these things such as the pitcher plants, tupelo gum ponds, bogs and so on are not common to its visitors from other states and other countries.

Actually, they are no longer so common to many who live here. Take the time to visit and to get to know the arboretum. You are likely to be surprised by all it offers to those of us who live here.