April 12, 2014 11:27:04 PM
WEST POINT -- The 4-H Foundation of Mississippi has opened a 63-acre multipurpose youth complex in West Point.
Dedication ceremonies were held Thursday for the Jimmy Bryan 4-H Youth Complex.
The complex includes a nature trail, a 4-H shooting range, the Southern Ionics 4-H Environmental Center, the Mississippi Farm Bureau 4-H ATV Training Center and the Elizabeth A. Howard 4-H Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center.
Bryan donated the land in 2001.
Hobson Waits, chairman of the 4-H Foundation of Mississippi, said the complex mainly started taking shape when the Tommy and Brenda Howard family of Columbus contributed to the construction of the therapeutic riding center.
Construction started at the complex in 2009.
The Elizabeth A. Howard 4-H Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center hosts therapeutic riding classes for a variety of participants throughout the week.
The Mississippi Farm Bureau 4-H ATV Training Center provides an outdoor classroom for the lecture portion of the ATV Rider Course.
The center also includes a training pad for ATV lessons and a mile-long trail through a 14-acre wooded area leased from the city.
The 4-H shooting range is still in the developmental stage but is now used for archery, air rifle and air pistol target shooting.
The Southern Ionics 4-H Environmental Center provides a covered outdoor pavilion for programs on conservation and the environment.
A nesting and bedding area for wildlife covers several acres on the property.
A one-mile nature trail, which is the same trail used for ATV activities, enables visitors to see amphibians, birds, squirrels and evidence of other small mammals and deer.
The trail passes upland oaks, pines, Savannah grass and bottomland hardwood in the 14-acre plot.
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