Friday, September 10, 2004

First Lady Marsha Barbour Chairs Hummingbird Migration Celebration, Promotes Nature Tourism in Mississippi

(Jackson, Miss.) - First Lady Marsha Barbour kicked off the Fifth Annual Hummingbird Migration Celebration at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs yesterday. She released the first hummingbirds of the event to mark the peak time of ruby-throated hummingbird migration from Canada, through Mississippi, to Central America.

"I was honored to be a part of the three-day celebration at Strawberry Plains," said First Lady Marsha Barbour. "They do outstanding work in conservation and education. They are a treasure for Mississippi and an outstanding example of nature tourism."

The release of the birds was followed by the sounds of the Dixie Hummingbirds performing their unique brand of gospel. Other speakers for the evening's theme, "Past and Future of Strawberry Plains," included:
Dr. Hubert H. McAlexander, University of Georgia, Strawberry Plains Historian; and Mr. Nick Walters, Director, USDA Rural Development.
Starting at noon today, the rest of the weekend includes activities such as hummingbird banding, nature programs, hayrides on Strawberry Plains Sanctuary, and a Discovery Series featuring scientists and educators.

"We were delighted to have the First Lady kick off our festivities,"
said Madge Lindsay, Executive Director, Audubon Mississippi. "The First Lady appreciates nature tourism in Mississippi and its potential for the State. She has been an advocate for natural resource agencies. We at Strawberry Plains are grateful for her work."

Strawberry Plains is a nature center under the umbrella of Audubon Mississippi. By offering and maintaining sugar-water feeders from Spring through Fall as well as restoring natural habitat, the center is able to attract hummingbirds, which entertains and educates visitors.


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Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741