Michael Richard, manager of the Jamie Whitten Plant Material Center (MSPMC), was the guest speaker for the November meeting of the Town and Country Garden Club. He presented a brief history of the facility and their mission as well as current projects. Jonathan Vollmer, Study Leader, at MSPMC was also on hand to answer club member questions.
One of only 25 such centers in the United States, these centers are operated by the National Resource Conservation Service to find vegetative solutions to reduce soil erosion, increase cropland soil health and productivity, improve water quality, produce forage and biomass, improve air quality, improve wildlife habitat (including pollinator habitat), restore wetlands, protect stream banks and riparian areas, and stabilize coastal areas.
Located outside of Coffeeville, the Jamie White PMS contains 360 acres and was established in 1960. It serves the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee.
Of particular interest to garden club members was the research being done at MSPMC on pollinator habitat and Richard provided the club with a listing of pollinator friendly plants for this area that could be included in their gardens.
After the program, a business meeting was held. Final plans for decorating the downtown Pavilion and planters for Christmas were reviewed. Linda Scott, Chairman for the Youth Sculpture Contest, gave an update on this project.
Connie Wilson, Christmas party chairman, reminded everyone about the upcoming Christmas party for club members and guests at Fountain Square. The next regular meeting of the club will be held in January.