Jillian Garrigues

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Video: Hidden Treasures — Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Just a few minutes outside of town you can find a peaceful retreat along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway at the Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center.

“It’s open and full of nature. It has unique landscapes, lots of wildlife, and is quiet. Often times through the year, you’ll see herds of deer running across the road, foxes, armadillos and even opossums,” said Plymouth Bluff director, Dave Haffly.

Nearly 200 acres of secluded landscape await you at the Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center. Four miles of nature trails, an indoor museum and outdoor teaching labs provide an educational experience for all. While we can enjoy it now, it took 20 years of hard work to get the center operating.

“There was a time, we were wondering whether it would ever come to pass or not. It was a long time, a lot of ups and downs,” said Dr. Harry Sherman, coordinator of public programs at Plymouth Bluff.

The Mississippi University for Women worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build the center in order to preserve the bluff, as it is a cretaceous fossil bed. During construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in the 1970s, money was appropriated for the establishment of nature centers along the waterway. In 1996 doors finally opened.

“Being here is very peaceful and being able to walk the trails and observe what’s there is nice. We have a lot of information along the trails,” said Dr. Sherman.

Many students visit the Plymouth Bluff center for educational programs. Adults also come for the historical “Sunday at the Bluff” programs. Conference rooms, an auditorium and guest cabins make the center suitable for renting as well. A number of family reunions, weddings and church retreats are held here every year.

“Even though we are only six or seven miles from Columbus, we’re far enough away where it actually seems further than it is. It tends to make the groups stay together and take care of what they’re actually out here for, instead of running to the store or fast food quite as quickly,” Haffly said.

The Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center is located on Old West Point Road. Trails are open everyday until dark. The office and museum is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information visit, http://www.plymouthbluff.com/ or call, (662) 241-6214.