by Tom Wilemon
The Sun Herald
Biloxi, MS (December 5, 2006)- Motorists on Caillavet Street can get a glimpse of what the city’s redevelopment corridor will look like: Wide sidewalks, shade trees and muted lighting – an atmosphere intended to attract curbside retailers. Over the past two weeks, workers have planted several varieties of trees from the CSX railroad tracks to Division Street. By the end of the year, about half of the 240 trees should be in the ground, said Brian Fulton, engineer manager for the Biloxi office of Neel-Schaffer, which did the street design.
City Arborist Eric Nolan said he asked for a sprinkler system for the trees and the engineers complied. He also was pleased the trees were planted in late autumn so the roots can take hold through the winter months.
Biloxi lost about 3,600 trees to Hurricane Katrina. Volunteer organizations, such as KaBOOM!, the Alliance for Community Trees, Hands On and others have planted about 370 trees at John Henry Beck Park, Monsignor John Joseph O’Reilly Memorial Park, Miramar Park and elementary school grounds. Judy Steckler with the Land Trust of the Mississippi Coastal Plain got the Alliance for Community Trees to donate 283 trees.
Live oaks have plenty of room to stretch their roots along the 24-foot median. Willow oaks, red maples and Chinese elms will provide spring and autumn color along the sides of the street. Smaller decorative trees include little gem magnolias and Foster’s holly. Lighting comes from three-foot-tall posts. The city has an agreement with Mississippi Power for the maintenance of the lighting.
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