Desoto County News

Renasant Park improvements among grant awards by MOSTF

Improvements to Hernando’s Renasant Park will be happening with over $1.7 million in state money announced on Wednesday, June 14. 

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said that enhancements for natural resource-based outdoor recreation, environmental education, eco-tourism and sustainability at the park were among 21 projects approved statewide by the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund, or MOSTF. 

In all, the MOSTF Board of Trustees approved 21 projects totaling $9.8 million. This initial allocation of funding will be matched by more than $31.4 million from other sources.

The total amount coming to the Renasant Park enhancements is $1,737,060. The City of Hernando is providing $763,180 in matching funds.  

The funding will provide enhancements by funding multi-use trails, natural spaces, disc golf, a 2,000 square foot open air pavilion with event area, a 3.5 acre native grass/wildflower meadow, restrooms, native tree planting, removal of invasive species, and lighting and parking. 

“I was proud to sign legislation that created the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund,” said Gov. Tate Reeves in a news release. “The Fund is already paying dividends to communities all over Mississippi. These grants will be critical to preserving Mississippi’s natural beauty so that future generations can enjoy it.”

The competitive grants chosen include a diversity of projects that meet the goals of improving state parks and outdoor recreation trails, improving access to public waters and lands, and preserving, enhancing, and restoring our native wildlife and fish resources and their critical habitats across Mississippi. This investment will strengthen communities around the state, enhance the state’s $8 billion outdoor recreation economy, and support more than 79,000 jobs.

The MOSTF was created and funded by the Legislature and later signed into law by Gov. Reeves in 2022. During the 2023 legislative session, the program received an additional $15 million in funding. The Board of Trustees oversees project selection and disbursement of funding.

“We were pleased to receive over 100 project applications in our first round,” said MOSTF Chair Van Ray of Yazoo City. “There was no shortage of excellent projects, but limited funding made it very competitive. The Board worked very hard to determine which projects would receive funding based on a comprehensive set of criteria.”

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