PEARL AND LEAF RIVERS RAILS TO TRAILS RECREATIONAL DISTRICT
JESSIE V.E. DOUGLAS
Whereas, in 1993 the Canadian National Railroad announced its intention to abandon the old, unused Illinois Central Railroad from Hattiesburg to Prentiss, Mississippi; and,
Whereas, community leaders along the route, including Lamar County supervisor JESSIE V.E. DOUGLAS, immediately joined efforts to preserve the old railroad rights-of-way for futher beneficial purposes to include a possible multi- purpose recreational trail; and,
Whereas, on April 7, 1994, and at the request of those community leaders, along with an outpouring of community support, the Mississippi Legislature created the authority for rails–to–trails recreational districts; and,
Whereas, in 1994, by joint resolution the counties of Forrest, Jefferson Davis, and Lamar, and the municipalities of Bassfield, Hattiesburg, Prentiss, and Sumrall, created the Pearl and Leaf Rivers Rails-To-Trails Recreational District; and,
Whereas, in 1994, and after providing leadership and support in a successful effort to preserve the old railroad rights-of-way, Lamar County supervisor Jessie V.E. Douglas was appointed as Lamar County’s first official representative on the newly created Board of Directors; and,
Whereas, Director Douglas continued (1994-2000) to provide invaluable leadership and faithful support throughout the district’s formative years to include the design and construction of the 39 mile Phase I of the Longleaf Trace; and,
Whereas, Director Douglas and his fellow directors proudly witnessed their vision achieve both state and national recognition to include "Mississippi Best", designation as a "National Recreational Trail", and being considered one of our nation’s finest rails-to-trails conversions; and,
Whereas, his colleagues gather with his friends and family to honor the memory of Jessie V.E. Douglas, who further distinguished a lifetime of community service and achievement by lending his leadership and faithful service assisting with the creation of the Pearl and Leaf Rivers Rails-To-Trails Recreational District, the establishment of administrative policy, and the design and construction of the Longleaf Trace.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED AND ADJUDICATEDby the Board of Directors of the Pearl and Leaf Rivers Rails-To-Trails Recreational District, that all matters, facts, and things hereinabove set out and set forth be the order of the Board and that the memory of JESSIE V.E. DOUGLAS be honored for a lifetime of achievements and faithful public service with the honor of today’s recognition and dedication; and,
THEREFORE, IT IS FURTHER RESOLVEDthat in honor of and in memory of JESSIE V.E. DOUGLAS, the EPLEY STATION and adjoining facilities shall hereafter be known as the JESSIE V.E. DOUGLAS TRAILHEAD.
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED on this the 9th day of March, A.D. 2010.
President, Board of Directors