Executive Director, Greater Belhaven Neighborhood FoundationJackson, Mississippi
Trees Preserve Historic Character
Belhaven and Belhaven Heights are cherished neighborhoods in Jackson, Mississippi, with 1,400 homes marked by historic architecture and anchored by tree-lined streets. But in 2005, Hurricane Katrina took down hundreds of the neighborhood's old oaks, pecans and other trees.
While the tragedy was far less severe than in many parts of Mississippi, the potential for permanent damage was very real. "Trees are absolutely a part of the heritage of this neighborhood," says Virgi Lindsay, executive director of the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation and a resident of the area.
Not to be bested by a storm, the Foundation worked with the City of Jackson to provide training and expertise on replanting as part of the recovery effort. Today, live oaks, maples and elms are restoring Belhaven and Belhaven Heights.
Were it not for the critical support of city officials and the collaborative vision of the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation, residents would have been forced to part with the leafy character they knew. "Without trees these homes would lose so much," Virgi says. "Greater Belhaven's beauty would be diminished."