Recognizing Commitment to Our Natural and National Heritage

The Twelve Oaks Nature Preserve was the perfect setting for a ceremony recognizing the latest organizations that have achieved recognition as Mississippi Gulf Coast Outposts. These small businesses and non-profit organizations have worked with the Jackson County Recreation Department and the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area program to show that they understand and are committed to steps that protect and foster our environmental and cultural resources. Promoting nature-based tourism is at the heart of this program.

Jackson County is the first coast county to partner with the Heritage Program, an office within the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, to help promote this effort. Barbara Medlock is the County’s Outdoor Recreation Specialist hired to help identify and foster interested businesses through the process. The five groups recognized at Twelve Oaks on Friday, February 19th, add to the seven already in the program.

As Jackson County Supervisor Troy Ross pointed out, this effort links businesses across the area that helps lift this region to the next level of recognition as a great place to visit, live and work. Asked about what it means to be recognized by this program, representatives of these newest Gulf Coast Outposts responded as follows:

“We are honored and privileged to be recognized for the work we have done and the work we continue to do. We look forward to expanding our partnerships and growing awareness for what we do.” Lisa Authement, Chair, Board of Directors, The Friends of Arts, Culture and Education.

“Much of what I have done to improve conditions at Twisted Run is invisible but contributes to the long-term good. I am happy to be recognized for it.” Mary Ann O’Gorman, Owner and Manager, Twisted Run Retreat.

“We are honored to be a part of the Outpost program, because it gives us more chances to share our wonderful community with locals and visitors. Mystic Charters is going to take this opportunity to spread more awareness about nature conservation of our community and waterways.” Matt and Casey Hinton, Mystic Charters LLC.

“It is such a blessing to be recognized for what we try to achieve. Prayerfully, even more will come to know us through the Outpost program and we can make a greater impact on our environment through education and outreach. We are honored for this recognition.” Missy Dubuisson, Founder and Owner, Wild at Heart Rescue.

“In our 30th year, we need to think about the future, what we leave behind, and what we do for future generations.” Amanda Wymer, Development and Community Liaison, Walter Anderson Museum of Art.

For information about the Gulf Coast Outpost Program, visit For personalized help in Jackson County, contact Barb Medlock at [email protected] or (228) 826-5330.


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.

What do you think?

Nine Speakers Slated for 2021 TEDxUniversityOfMississippi Event

What’s up with the “R” and oysters?