By Carole Kelly
Recent news that Wildlife Mississippi had purchased twenty-seven miles of property along the Pearl River from Neshoba County to the Ross Barnett Reservoir for perpetual conservation easement enhanced Lynn Porter’s recent presentation to the Happy Gardeners Club.
Appearing in pirate garb, Porter donned the costume to present programs that bring the history of the Pearl River to life for audiences of any age. Her book, Discover the Pearl, reveals fascinating past history, including the fact that pirates headquartered in Honey Island Swamp and attacked merchant ships en route from Jackson to New Orleans.
Porter said she had realized there was not a lot of material about the river that is a beautiful part of Mississippi history. As her research brought many aspects of the river to life, her book became the avenue for detailing the facts. Published in 2019, the book is enhanced with illustrations by Skylar Noblin Laminack of Edwards, a graduate of the Mississippi School for the Arts.
As Porter shared details from the book, she wove the history of the river into the importance of conservation and respect for natural resources. Highlights feature the origin of its name from native Americans; creeks and rivers flowing into the river; its early explorers, the variety of its plants and animals; shipping and trading; and the pirate times.
Also addressed is the unfortunate fact that pollution and litter problems have affected the river, transforming its clean and clear waters of past years into its muddy appearance of today.
Mary Katherine Callahan introduced the guest speaker, noting that Porter, a native of St. Louis, is a Clinton resident and a graduate of Mississippi State University. She is retired from her dedicated thirty-year career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service and the Hinds County Soil and Water Conservation District, where she served as education/information specialist and district administrator. She remains active in conservation and community organizations, stating, “Conservation is part of my DNA.”
Her message: “It is not an option but a responsibility to take care of the natural resources God has entrusted to us.”
Sponsors of the book were the Soil and Water Association of Hinds County, the USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pearl Watershed Experience and Keep the Reservoir Beautiful, a Keep America Beautiful Affiliate.
Special to The Clinton Courier
Lynn Porter did not choose her pirate’s garb for Halloween but was speaking at a recent meeting of the Happy Gardeners Club. Her ensemble illustrated a phase in the history of the Pearl River, which she brought alive with many little-known facts about the nearby river. Happy Gardener members Janie Fields, left, and Mary Katherine Callahan greeted the guest speaker, who says the pirate wear enhances her presentations about the Pearl River for any age audience.