58 trees to be planted on Clay Street next month

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 14, 2000

Once chided by a property owner as “the ugliest street in America,” Clay Street will get a facelift next month, thanks to a state-funded tree-planting program.

City landscaper Jeff Richardson is heading up the project, which will plant 58 trees between Adams and Washington streets.

“The idea is to let pedestrians have a little buffer between the street and the sidewalk,” Richardson said.

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The trees will also provide shade and soften the view downtown, he said.

The trees will be placed carefully to not obstruct the businesses or power lines in the area, he said.

So far, plans are for 34 crape myrtles, 13 golden rain trees, five magnolias, five cypress trees and one river birch. City crews will begin cutting holes in the sidewalk next month to accommodate the trees.

The city is focusing on the part of Clay Street closest to downtown because it is the only part of the street with enough sidewalk space to plant trees, Richardson said.

“If it were easy to fix and beautify Clay Street, it would have been done 40 years ago,” he said.

The project is being funded by a $5,398 grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The local match will be provided in-kind, meaning city crews will do the road work and plant the trees.